Biophysical Study-Inuvialuit Settlement Region
Principal Investigator: Komers, Petr (1)
Licence Number: 13227
Organization: Inuvialuit Environmental & Geotechnical Inc.
Licenced Year(s): 2001
Issued: Jul 16, 2001
Project Team: a senior scientist, one or two intermediate scientists, and two Inuvialuit

Objective(s): The objective of the study is to obtain environmental information on landholdings that will aid decision-making by Project Managers and regulatory agencies within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. The survey will provide ecosystem detail where operations may take place to assist in reducing potential environmental impacts by employing mitigative measures tailored to the environment. Motivation for the collection of these environmental data was a request by the Inuvialuit Land Administration for more current and relevant ecosystem information for inclusion in project descriptions and permit applications. The data to be collected is representative of a variety of species and ecosystem levels.

Project Description: Eleven plant species of national significance are found in the Mackenzie Delta. Following a preliminary classification using satellite images, the presence or absence of these species within sample areas will be determined during field surveys. After field data are collected, a more refined landscape classification model will be produced. To refine and test this model, 30 sites per vegetation community type (300 sites in total) will be surveyed. Sample site locations will be chosen randomly in areas leased by members of the Mackenzie Delta Operators Group (MDOG). Three hundred sites will be surveyed by helicopter, to estimate the percent cover of vegetation and to identify dominant plant species. Locations of survey sites (approximately 10m x 10m) will be selected based on the initial landscape classification and will include a 180 m buffer from human residences and activities whenever possible. Vegetation mapping by helicopter surveys will take 6 - 10 minutes per site. A site description and photograph will be taken from 300 feet above ground. The helicopter will then descend to 5 - 10 feet above ground and move in a lateral direction across the site in order for dominant plant species to be identified. Percent cover of the vegetation will be estimated and photographed from 100 feet above ground. In addition to a helicopter survey, 120 sites will be observed and measured on the ground for vegetation composition, vegetation structure and wildlife signs. A site description will be recorded, and vegetation measured in two circular plots. Understory species will be surveyed within the smaller plot; main and understory tree canopies and snags within the larger plot. In the case that plant identification in the field is problematic, a small representative sample will be taken for later identification.