Agricultural Land Use Inventories

Much of the farming activity in British Columbia takes place in close proximity to urban areas. Comprehensive planning for agriculture is becoming increasingly important to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture and to reduce, or avoid, land use conflict.

As in any planning effort, information is critical. A Geographic Information System (GIS) applied to an agricultural landscape can effectively capture, store, analyze and display information that is geographically based. Of its many benefits, GIS can improve our understanding of farming areas, help promote agricultural development and assist in identifying and handling issues important to strengthening farming.

In 1996, the Ministry undertook an agricultural GIS Pilot Project with the District of Pitt Meadows. The purpose of the pilot was to develop the tools necessary to promote and plan for agriculture using GIS.

Learn more about the results of the pilot:

Since the success of the pilot, a series of tools have been developed to efficiently capture detailed information on agricultural lands. The AgFocus: Field Guide is a quick reference to the land cover and land use classifications used to describe the land. The AgFocus: Surveyor Guide includes a description of the survey method, data model, and data entry system. The AgFocus: GIS Guide describes the GIS tools and practices used when preparing for an ALUI.

These guides are listed below:

A variety of maps and statistics can be created from the ALUI, including farmland utilization, potential for farming, agricultural activities, agricultural land use changes, and activities along the urban-rural edge.