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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A landscape approach to land classification and evaluation for regional land use planning, southern Okanagan Valley, British Columbia Hawes, Robert Alan

Abstract

This study is concerned with the problem of environmental data collection, interpretation and presentation for regional land use planning. A landscape classification was carried out for the watershed of the southern Okakagan Valley by collecting and integrating data on surficial deposits, vegetation, soil and bedrock geology. Thirty nine land systems are described and mapped, and shown on a base map at a scale of 1:125,000. The land systems are relatively homogeneous landscape units, characterized by a particular landform (or patterns of landforms) with associated vegetation and soil. Interpretive guidelines were developed for determining the suitability of the land systems for selected engineering (urban development), recreation and wildlife interpretations. The interpretive guidelines with the derived suitability ratings provide planning information for the region, show how the classification system can assist regional land use planning and form a framework for similar studies in other areas. Methods of data presentation were used to facilitate the understanding and application of this information by planners, technical experts,scientists and the concerned public. Specifically this was accomplished through the use of an expanded legend, stereo-pair and colour photographs, and by having separate sections for referencing information. The methods used in this study provide a rapid and relatively inexpensive framework for collecting, presenting and interpreting environmental baseline information. The information can be of valuable assistance to technical and non-technical people in the land use planning and decision making processes.

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