Riparian Areas Regulation – FAQs

What are riparian areas?

Riparian areas are the vegetated borders of stream and lakes. Riparian landscapes provide high value habitat for birds and animals, and is very important for the health of freshwater fisheries.

What is the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) and when does it apply?

In much of BC riparian habitats are protected through the RAR. If you are proposing development within 30 meters of stream or waterbody, a RAR assessment may be necessary to ensure that this critical habitat is not lost or damaged. Under RAR a stream can refer to a watercourse (even if dry), pond, lake, river, creek, brook, ditch, spring, or wetland.

Where does RAR apply?

RAR is not applicable in all areas of BC. The following is a list of areas where RAR is used: Capital Region, Central Okanagan, Columbia-Shuswap, Comox-Strathcona, Cowichan Valley, Fraser Valley, Greater Vancouver (except the city of Vancouver), Nanaimo, North Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen, Powell River, Squamish-Lillooet, Sunshine Coast, Thompson-Nicola, Trust area under the Islands Trust Act

Who can assist?

RAR assessments are performed by Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs). Canyon Wren consulting can assist you in determining the required setback (SPEA) for your riparian area. Our QEPs will provide measures to protect the SPEA, prevent damages to the habitat by the proposed development and help you through the permitting process.