Archaeological predictive modeling offers a means of uniformly making heritage resource management decisions across large areas in a timely and cost-effective manner. Unfortunately, the existing model only offers an intuitive and individualistic approach to anticipating site distribution and is inadequate when dealing with the magnitude of the heritage management issues in the province of British Columbia (B.C.). Sites are sought out where they are expected to be found. As a result, invalid notions of archaeological site distribution become entrenched in the process and then takes on a reality role in the decision making process. The decision makers may not be able to explain why they expect sites to be in specific localities and they may not be able to identify specific geographical or biotic indicators of site potential. This is not a true prediction, and therefore, without intensive inductive field assessments there is a risk of impacting presently unidentified types of sites.

To overcome the inadequacies of existing models Norcan develops predictive models that are functional and accurate. Our models include localized research and site analysis, review and analysis of previous archaeological work. Our work includes ongoing testing, refinement and proposes statistically valid archaeological inventories for the future. The benefits of applying our concepts of predictive modeling to the developmental planning process are significant and offer the only viable alternative to the present systems. Our goal is to develop predictive models that emphasize archaeological site protection and to minimize its adverse effects on planned development activities.
Development planners demonstrate a growing awareness of the value of heritage resources and are incorporating these resources into their augmented designs.
Theses models developed by Norcan address and achieve the following objectives:
  • Promote sustainable forest management in British Columbia.
  • Be of general benefit to the resource sector or sub-sectors.
  • Add to the environmental stewardship of provincial lands.
  • Provide scientific information that supports policy, regulatory, and guideline development.
  • Enhance the quality of decision making through an improved knowledge base.
  • Assist in practical adaptive management approaches.
  • Argument the value of forest land through better utilization and better realization of inherent archaeological potential.
  • Improve sustainable forestry practices in terms of planning, management, monitoring, analysis, reporting and adjustment.
  • Accelerate certification processes.
  • The project results will have the potential of broad applicability beyond local geographical and specific ecological situations.
  • Provide usable results to as wide a set of uses as possible.