The State of BC’s Forests The Indicators
Soil — PDF print version
Indicator 7 – Soil
click graphic to enlarge
Note: This indicator will be addressed fully, with detailed
information and an assessment, in a future edition of the report.
Why is this important?
Soil is the foundation on which forest and range ecosystems develop.
- Soil holds much of the nutrients and biological mass of forest and range
lands. It consists of inorganic material, decaying organic matter, air,
water and many microbial and larger organisms.
- Soil provides two important ecological functions that depend on complex
interactions of its components. These functions are productivity (capacity
to support plant growth) and regulation of water flow.
- Forest practices, range practices and recreational activities
(construction of access roads, timber harvesting, site preparation for
planting trees, cattle grazing and use of all-terrain vehicles) can have
negative and, in some cases, positive impacts on soil’s ecological
- Concern about the nature and extent of forest soil degradation prompted
government to develop, in the early 1970s, forest practice guidelines to
limit negative impacts on soils. These guidelines have been updated over
time based on scientific research into the long-term effects of forest and
range practices on soil productivity.
- Soil conservation requires detailed consideration of site conditions,
season and equipment used in forest and range management.
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