Forest Investment Account

Abstract of TERP Project

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Effectiveness monitoring plan for NDT4 ecosystem restoration in the East Kootenay Trench

Author(s): Machmer, Marlene M.; Page, Hillary; Steeger, Christoph
Imprint: Nelson, B.C. : Pandion Ecological Research Ltd., 2002
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Effectiveness monitoring
Series: Terrestrial Ecosystem Restoration Program Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program

Abstract

The East Kootenay Trench Restoration Program is the largest, longest running terrestrial restoration initiative underway in British Columbia. By the year 2030, an estimated 135,000 ha of the Trench land base will be converted to an open range or open forest condition. Various monitoring and research initiatives have been conducted in conjunction with restoration treatments, however no overall monitoring plan is in place to evaluate how well current practices are working to meet restoration program goals and objectives. Trench ecosystems represent some of the most biologically diverse areas in the province, and support threatened grassland communities, significant populations of big game, and red- and blue-listed species. Considering the immense scale of planned restoration activities, systematic evaluation of treatment success is fundamental to ensure conservation of these resources. This Effectiveness Monitoring Plan (EMP) for Trench restoration provides direction for design and implementation of monitoring activities, and sharing and extension of findings. Plan implementation will ensure that (a) a measure of ecosystem recovery is available to adaptively adjust and refine future restoration objective-setting, planning and implementation, (b) monitoring data and results are summarized and available to restoration practitioners to promote improvement in restoration practices within an adaptive management context, and (c) efficiency is maximized and costs are minimized for a given level of monitoring effort. Plan development involved reviewing NDT4 Trench Restoration Program objectives, planning, and practices, as well as past and ongoing monitoring activities and data. This information was used to identify monitoring needs, gaps and options, and to develop effectiveness monitoring objectives addressing four broad topic areas: (1) stand structure and overstory vegetation, (2) understory vegetation, (3) riparian and wetland habitat, and (4) wildlife and biodiversity. This EMP provides a design, response variables, protocols, priority rankings, adaptive management recommendations to address 13 monitoring objectives. Overall, the plan recommends intensive pre- and post-treatment (year 1, 3, 5, 10) monitoring at 4-6 restoration treatment sites in the Trench, with equal representation by biogeoclimatic zone (PP/IDF) and location (north/south). Intensive evaluation should be supplemented by routine monitoring at the majority (i.e., >75%) of remaining treated sites in the Trench, based on methods detailed in Appendix III. Estimates of person-days of monitoring effort (per site per year) are provided. Responsibility for EMP implementation (i.e., coordination of data collection, summary, storage, and interpretation) should be assumed by a single agency, and preferably to 1-2 key individuals for the program duration. The number of persons collecting data should also be minimized and protocols for data collection must be clearly communicated and followed, to ensure consistency. The agency above should also provide (or coordinate the delivery of) updates at 1-3 year intervals, depending on the phase of the overall program. The latter would summarize pertinent monitoring trends for resources, comment on interim treatment outcomes relative to restoration objectives or desired targets, and provide feedback for adaptive management to restoration practitioners. Additional recommendations for effectiveness and implementation monitoring are provided.


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Updated July 25, 2006 

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