Del Meidinger received a Legacy Premier’s Award in 2008 and was inducted into the Hall of Excellence in the 2014.
In 1980, under Del’s leadership, the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range’s Research Branch began an extensive program of ecological research which culminated in the implementation of the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification system. The system provides the scientific basis for decision-making on issues ranging from protected area designation to timber supply analysis.
Before the classification system was widely implemented there was no systematic ecologically based approach to resource management in B.C. Timber supply analysis was much less sophisticated and the sustainability of forestry in B.C. was a significant concern, and consumer boycotts threatened B.C.’s economy. Application of this system enabled forest companies to be certified, and thus protect their market access. This component of the provinces economy is worth millions annually.
Del was also instrumental in the development of a number of derivative systems that use Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification as a foundation, notably Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping, a detailed site level mapping system and a sophisticated technique that predicted the ecological make up of site units called Predictive Ecosystem Mapping.
As a world-renowned research ecologist, manager of a provincial research program, prolific writer, product developer and more – Del has left an invaluable legacy in the form of an internationally recognized model for natural resource management based on a solid foundation of scientific work that is used now throughout the province and elsewhere.