Environmental Protection & Bylaws

Squamish is laden with beautiful natural areas, many of which are highly sensitive.

As such, the District of Squamish has enacted the following environmental bylaws and guidelines to ensure protection of these areas for salmon, wildlife, eagles and humans for generations to come.

Bylaws and Guidelines

DPA 1 is part of the Official Community Plan. It contains guidelines for the protection of riparian, aquatic, marine and terrestrial (e.g., forested) areas.

 More information on Riparian & Aquatic Protection:

OCP section: Development Approval Information Areas 

The District has produced Riparian Signage Guidelines to help land owners, developer and Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs) address the signage requirement within Development Permit Area 1 (Environmental Protection).

 Riparian Signage Guidelines page

Encouraging the preservation and healthy management of forested areas and tree stands is an important objective in the District of Squamish Official Community Plan, along with protecting and maintaining the integrity of our green infrastructure, natural assets and sensitive ecosystems.  

The Tree Management Bylaw outlines tree protection measures and replacement requirements. It also regulates the cutting down, removal and damaging of trees and vegetation.

Visit the Trees and Soils Management information page or review the bylaw to determine if the bylaw applies to you.

              Trees and Soils Management Page           

           View the Trees Management Bylaw           

Managing soil movement helps protect and maintain the integrity of green infrastructure and sensitive ecosystems, maintain water quality and drainage while controlling soil erosion and sedimentation, and prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species.

The Soils Management Bylaw regulates the deposit and removal of soil on land within Squamish.

Visit the Trees and Soils Management information page or review the bylaw to determine if the bylaw applies to you.

             Trees and Soils Management Page             

           View the SOILs Management Bylaw             

The Invasive Species Management Bylaw requires landowners and occupiers to prevent growth and control the spread of invasive plant species on, to and from their land. It also prohibits improper treatment and disposal of invasive species.

Visit the Invasive Species page to learn more.

For more information view the bylaw and visit the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council website. 

            View the INVASIVE SPECIES Management Bylaw           

             Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council website                

Invasive plants pose serious environmental, personal safety and economic threats to the Squamish area

The Invasive Plant Disposal Protocol provides guidance for disposal of invasive plant matter (excluding soils) at the Squamish Landfill.

 View the Plant Disposal Protocol

The Pesticide and Herbicide Use Bylaw prohibits application of pesticides used to maintain outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers and other ornamental plants and turf on lands used for residential purposes and municipal lands. 

Visit the Pesticide and Herbicide page to learn more.

View the Pesticide and Herbicide Use Bylaw

The Wildlife Attractant Bylaw regulates the storage and management of wildlife attractants, such as garbage, compost, fruit trees, petroleum products, antifreeze, paint, hens, home food delivery, etc.

 For more information visit the Living with Wildlife page and review the bylaw.

                         Living with Wildlife                    

View the Wildlife Attractant Bylaw

 In B.C., birds and their nests are protected under the provincial Wildlife Act and the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act which make it an offence to harm, disturb or destruct nests, eggs or young. In Squamish, the bird nesting period is from late March to late August (see below for timing windows). All vegetation disturbance should occur outside of this period. If vegetation removal must occur during this period, it should be ensured that no nests are present. Nest surveys conducted by a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) are commonly used to help reduce potential impacts on bird species.


 Squamish is an intricate web of streams, rivers and wetlands that flow into the estuary and Howe Sound.

Draining your swimming pool or hot tub into your backyard or a storm drain could be harming your local environment. The Residential Hot Tub and Pool Drainage Guidelines provide residents with options for responsibly draining their hot tubs and pools.

To learn more about draining your pool or hot tub visit:

Residential Hot Tub and Pool Drainage Guidelines

High nutrient organic soils and fertilizers can leach nutrients into stormwater, potentially causing excessive or toxic algae growth in downstream waterways.

To learn more about potential issues read:

 Drainage Issues with Landscape on Slab & Green Roofs

The Squamish Environmental Timing Window is intended for guidance only. Timing windows may vary depending on other Federal and Provincial information, changes in biophysical factors, updated research.

Spawning Periods Timing Table

Environmental Mapping

The District of Squamish’s environmental mapping includes:

  • Streams
  • Wetlands
  • Ditches
  • Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs)
  • DPA 1 Environmental Review Areas, including:
    • Terrestrial Review Areas (forested habitat)
    • Aquatic Review Areas (freshwater and marine)
    • Aquatic Assessment Areas (riparian and shoreline)

This mapping reflects the best available data; however, not all features are mapped or mapped accurately. All features, mapped or unmapped, are subject to field verification as well as relevant environmental bylaws and regulations.

The District of Squamish’s environmental mapping is available via the WebMap, Official Community Plan (OCP), and the Open Data Portal.

The interactive WebMap contains the most current data layers for streams, wetlands, ditches, Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) and DPA 1 Environmental Review Areas.


The Official Community Plan (OCP 2040) environmental mapping was produced in 2018, and reflects the best available data at that time. It includes a map of Environmental Review Areas (Schedule K-1) and Ditches (Schedule K-2).

Environmental Review Areas (Schedule K-1)

Ditches (Schedule K-2)


The Squamish Open Data Portal provides full GIS datasets in downloadable formats.  You can also use the tools available to visualize, create and share your own maps and apps.

Access to the OpenData Portal.

Learn more about the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Mapping project undertaken in 2016.



Applications Resources and Contact Information

Permit Applications and Checklists

Visit our Applications, Guides, Forms and Resources page to access permit applications.

Have a Question or Concern?

Contact us: [email protected], 604.815.5012 or use the online customer service form.

Customer Service Form