Whistler’s natural environment is one of the community’s greatest amenities and residents and visitors alike understand the importance of the natural environment to the success and viability of the resort community.
Click here for information on the RMOW’s initiatives concerning environmental protection.
Photo Credit: Bob Brett
Standards of environmental quality in Whistler exceed those in typical communities. The resort community is set within a beautiful natural environment with clean air, clean water, extraordinary scenery, and the sense of being close to nature. These ecological assets help serve as a catalyst for initiatives such as Whistler2020, the community’s shared vision to be the premier mountain resort community – as we move toward sustainability. This vision re-imagines Whistler as a sustainable, low-footprint community working toward the Whistler2020 vision through action, planning and implementation.
As a result, Whistler works to maintain, protect and enhance ecological assets such as water quality, biodiversity, clean air, ecosystems, viewscapes, and a community-wide environmental stewardship ethic. The community acknowledges that water quality in lakes, streams and groundwater sources are vital to safe drinking water supply, recreational use, and the protection of functioning ecosystems.
Biodiversity is also a priority. After significant development in the last 40 years, Whistler’s natural areas and local biodiversity are challenged by land conversion and habitat fragmentation. The municipality is committed to mitigating the impacts and restoring habitats where possible by careful land management and better understanding of the species that live here. The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is engaged in reducing human-bear conflicts through partnership with like-minded organizations, as well as actively protecting ecosystems and viewscapes through initiatives such as the Cheakamus Community Forest.
The Sea-to-Sky Corridor also currently enjoys relatively clean, healthy air but trends indicate that air quality could deteriorate if emissions are not proactively managed. To offset the trend, the municipality has partnered with the Sea-to-Sky Clean Air Society in planning and implementing the Sea-to-Sky Air Quality Management Plan. Success will rely on good planning principles such as Smart Growth, new technologies, and clean energy sources.