Ecological land survey in Manitoba, a discussion and evaluation

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Veldhuis, Hugo.
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The objectives of the study are to review the approach taken by Ecological Land Surveys (ELS) to the inventory of land resources in Manitoba and to evaluate the extent to which the survey data have ecological significance and value to users of the land resource. This evaluation suggests certain modifications to the ELS methodology to improve the usefulness of the survey data to potential users. The analysis and evaluation of Ecological Land Survey in Manitoba is accomplished through detailed study of the maps and descriptive reports derived from the Northern Resource Information program (NRIP)... Although the NRIP ecosection maps provide a large amount of land resource data for terrain where little previous information existed, the lack of a descriptive report and interpretation keys limit the usefulness of the data... The results of this evaluation suggest that the Ecological Land Survey as carried out in Manitoba could be improved through a better definition of objectives, a greater balance of expertise on the study team and a better structured and increased effort towards data collection. The usefulness of the data can be increased most readily by provision of map unit and map unit component descriptions and evaluation of these units for particular land resource uses. Increased communication with potential users during the planning stage and by means of an extension function following completion of the project should greatly facilitate use of the data.