- Buffer — an area of land that surrounds and protects an ecosystem from the adverse effects of activities on, or encroachment from, adjacent developments.
- Conservation Covenant — a voluntary, written legal agreement in which a landowner promises to protect natural features on his or her land in specified ways. This agreement may cover all or just part of a property. The covenant is attached to the title of land and binds future landowners to the terms of the covenant.
- Course of Construction Document — a document defining the obligations of contractors during the building process, such as engineering and waste management requirements.
- Development Permit Area (DPA) — an area defined in the Official Community Plan, in which a development permit must be obtained before development can proceed. A local government may define a DPA for the purposes of protecting the natural environment and may specify conditions that must be met before a development permit will be issued.
- Ecogift — a gift of land or a conservation easement, covenant, or servitude on land that is certified as ecologically sensitive by the federal Minister of the Environment or the Minister’s designate in accordance with the provisions of the federal Income Tax Act, and that otherwise meets the requirements of the Act that give rise to significant tax advantages.
- Ecosystem — a complete system of living organisms interacting with the soil, land, water, and nutrients that make up their environment. Ecosystems are commonly described according to the major type of vegetation — for example, ‘old-growth forest’, ‘Garry oak’ or ‘grassland’ ecosystem.
- Garry Oak and Associated Ecosystems — Garry oak ecosystems range from shady woodlands to open meadows with scattered trees, including mixed stands with other trees, mainly arbutus and Douglas-fir. Garry oak ecosystems may often be found near, or in combination with other ecosystems that do not contain Garry oak trees. These associated sites often share many characteristics with Garry oak ecosystems, including the types of disturbance experienced or expected to occur, like wildfires or grazing by wildlife. Associated ecosystems are highly varied and include rock outcrops and coastal bluffs, forests with an oak component, maritime meadows and treeless grasslands, and seasonal wetlands and small pools which disappear during droughts. In these documents, these places are referred to as Garry oak areas.
- Greenways — networks of linked greenspace that provide wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.
- Habitat — the place where an organism lives, and/or the conditions of that place, including the soil, vegetation, water, and food.
- Invasive Species — plants, animals, and microorganisms that colonize and take over the habitats of native species. Most invasive species are not native to the area and can become dominant because the natural controls (e.g., predators, disease) that kept their populations in check in their original environment do not occur in their new location.
- Land Trust — a private, non-profit organization committed to the long-term or permanent protection of natural or cultural heritage. They may protect nature through ownership of land or acquire interests in land such as a conservation covenant.
- Natural Capital — natural capital consists of natural resources, environmental and ecosystem resources, and land. It is capital in the sense that these resources are assets that yield goods and services over time — goods and services that are essential to the sustained health of our environment and the economy.
- Recovery Plan — recovery planning is a process that is undertaken to ensure the survival and recovery of species and ecosystems at risk. Recovery plans are usually prepared by a recovery team, such as the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team.
- Restoration — the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.
- Species At Risk — a species that has been defined as at risk of disappearing from the wild by either the federal or provincial government.
- Species At Risk Act (SARA) — federal legislation aimed at preventing endangered or threatened wildlife from becoming extinct or lost from the wild, and helping in the recovery of these species.
- Understorey — the shrubs and ground cover plants that are found under trees.
- Wildlife Corridor — a travel corridor for wildlife. They include wide, natural corridors for large mammals, to ‘sky corridors’ that offer a safe flight path between feeding and resting places for birds, to smaller constructed corridors (such as urban trails or culverts under roads) that provide safe passage for smaller creatures.
This content in this section was also published in a 2007 collection, which includes references and photographs, available as a PDF: Protecting Garry Oak Areas During Land Development (2007)