Natural Resource Best Management Practices

Best management practices are guidelines that help development projects meet necessary legislation, regulations and policies. For example, legislation might dictate that projects cannot harm a stream, while best management practices provide practical methods to avoid harming a stream.

Developers and other professionals can rely on best management practices to help improve operations because they're based on science and they’ve been proven to work. They also help developers act as environmental stewards – completing projects on land or water in a way that doesn’t interfere with living resources and their habitats.

Find comprehensive information on assessing, avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating road impacts on amphibians and reptiles in British Columbia.

Find guidelines, scientific information and practical, cost-effective tools for mitigating development activity impacts on amphibian and reptile populations in the province.

In cases where impacts to occupied habitats cannot be avoided, a permit must be obtained to capture, hold, and relocate animals to a safe location – a "salvage operation". See how to plan and implement salvage operations that minimize impacts to amphibian or reptile populations.

Based on evidence and operational experience, these guidelines are used by commercial recreation and adventure tourism companies for planning outdoor recreation activities that will not negatively impact wildlife and their habitats.


Read about the potential impacts of resource development and other human activities on bats and their habitats in B.C. and guidelines for minimize them.

Assessing the quality of bat habitat or the impact of activities on bats should involve an experienced bat biologist – these guidelines do not replace specific guidance from a qualified professional.


Species-at-risk are present in many places across B.C. Their presence can come into direct conflict with activities, such as forestry, mining, pipelines, transmission lines, communication towers, ski areas, recreation, and range use, that occur in these areas. Effective management guidance can support the recovery efforts for these species-at-risk while reducing the impact these efforts have on the activities in the area.

Translocating at risk plants is a strategy to mitigate threats and assist in the recovery of the species. However, deliberately moving plants from one location to another can:

  • Cause inadvertent harm to natural ecosystems and species at risk
  • Have low opportunity for success
  • Be expensive
  • Use significant amounts of limited resources available for species at risk recovery

Find information to help determine whether translocations are necessary for your project and get advice for developing a translocation plan, methodology and techniques.


Get information on how to protect raptors whose ranges overlap with urban and rural development – including guidelines for:

  • Activities undertaken within raptor ranges
  • How to properly install audiovisual surveillance equipment (e.g. webcams) in nests without disturbing wildlife

The provincial government created these guidelines to protect the birds, their young and their nests, while not applying unnecessary legislative requirements.

This comprehensive guide outlines how to maintain environmental values during land development. It includes information on:

  • Priorities of the provincial government and other agencies
  • Green alternatives to standard urban development practices
  • Riparian protection
  • Climate change
  • Waste management
  • Protection of environmentally valuable resources
  • Streamlining review processes

Read about the Develop with Care Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural Land Development - 2014

Wetlands are among the most biologically diverse, productive, and important life support systems on earth – they’re integral to many important ecosystems and life forms in B.C. and they provide beneficial services, like flood control, water supply or recreation. Often, wetlands are unrecognized and undervalued, making them costly or impossible to replace.

Use these guidelines and best practices during development activities on public and private lands to

  • Avoid or minimize impacts on wetlands
  • Maintain high ecological values in wetland areas
  • Address sector-specific needs or management and regulatory considerations

These guidelines were prepared with input from many experienced reviewers and will continue to be updated.

Download Wetland Ways: Interim Guidelines for Wetland Protection and Conservation in British Columbia.

These best management practices help us mitigate impacts to watercourses, aquatic ecosystems and private property when working around water.  

Region-Specific Guidelines & Best Management Practices

Regional documents have been developed for a specific purpose and may not be applicable to other regions.