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Whistler to map habitat on the Web

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Tracking the growth and retreat of Whistler’s glaciers may be a little easier for the average person with a new community project on the horizon.

The Community Habitat Resources Project, also known as CHRP or "chirp" is set to build a Web-based library of habitat mapping and geo-spatial information. In addition to information about the local glaciers, the Web site will also track things like amphibian distribution and fish stocking records.

This information will be culled from local individuals and organizations in the community and made widely available on the Web.

Ten local organizations are developing the project, among them the Whistler Naturalists Society, the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment, the Whistler-Blackcomb Habitat Improvement Team, the Whistler Museum and Archives Society and the municipality.

With guidance from and funding coming through the Community Foundation of Whistler, the groups developed a proposal in conjunction with the CFOW and pitched it to one of Canada’s largest environmentally-oriented foundations.

The CHRP proposal was one of eight in Canada to receive funding.

The bulk of the $75,000 grant will go into the Web-based mapping project.

Web users will be able to scan many different layers of maps and information and may even be able to add their own information, like habitat mapping in their backyard.

CHRP also has the ability to expand in the future to include partnerships with regional organizations.

The Whistler Museum and Archives Society has agreed to host the partnership and manage the grant money.

There is also a possibility of another $75,000 in 2004.

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