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Ecological information and site characteristics

General objective

  • To record the ecological classification of the site and describe site conditions that limit operations.

The silviculture prescription must describe the biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification and any critical site conditions that would affect the timing of operations, and how they affect this timing. Any additional information requirements may be useful for making and supporting decisions, but need not be included or attached to the document, unless specifically requested by the district manager.

Biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification (BEC)

The silviculture prescription must contain the following ecological information:

Ecological classification and interpretation guidance is provided in the following publications:

Cariboo Forest Region

Steen, O.A. and R.A. Coupé. 1997. A field guide to forest site identification and interpretation for the Cariboo Forest Region. B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. 39.

Kamloops Forest Region

Lloyd, D., K. Angrove, G. Hope, and C. Thompson. 1990. A guide to site identification and interpretation for the Kamloops Forest Region. B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. 23.

Nelson Forest Region

Braumandl, T.F. and M.P. Curran. 1992. A field guide for site identification and interpretation for the Nelson Forest Region. B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. 20.

Prince George Forest Region

MacKinnon, A., C. DeLong, and D. Meidinger. 1990. A field guide for identification and interpretation of ecosystems in the northwest portion of the Prince George Forest Region. B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. 21.

DeLong, C., A. MacKinnon, and L. Jang. 1990. A field guide for identification and interpretation of ecosystems of the northeast portion of the Prince George Forest Region. B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. 22.

Jull, M.J., C. DeLong, and D. Tanner. 1993. A field guide for site identification and interpretation for the southern portion of the Prince George Forest Region. B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. 24.

DeLong, C., D. Tanner, and M.J. Jull 1994. A field guide for site identification and interpretation for the Northern Rockies and portions of the Prince George Forest Region. B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. 29.

Prince Rupert Forest Region

Banner, A., W. MacKenzie, S. Haeussler, S. Thomson, J. Pojar, and R. Trowbridge. 1993. A field guide to site identification for the Prince Rupert Forest Region. B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. 26.

Vancouver Forest Region

Green, R.N. and K. Klinka. 1994. Site identification and interpretation for the Vancouver Forest Region. B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. 28.

Critical site conditions

The silviculture prescription must state any critical site conditions that affect the timing of operations, and describe how operations are affected. Only those site conditions directly related to a prescribed action, or limitations to an action, must be stated. Such conditions may be related to soil properties, drainage, periodic flooding, wildlife (e.g., nesting periods), recreational activities (e.g., hunting or fishing seasons), or any other site conditions critical to the success of the prescription.

Stratification

Two levels of stratification are required for silviculture prescriptions:

Site series

The BEC site series must be indicated on the silviculture prescription map and described in the silviculture prescription document. Minimum polygon size on the map will depend on the relevance to management objectives for the site. One hectare is generally accepted as a minimum size.

BEC site series are important, since they influence many management decisions, including the equipment to be used, treatment regimes, stocking standards, and wildlife habitat management requirements.

Standards units

An area in which silvicultural systems, stocking standards, and soil conservation standards are uniformly applied is known as a standards unit. Standards units are areas that will be managed to a specified silvicultural system and to soil conservation and stocking standards. Stand management objectives and BEC site series are significant factors leading to setting standards units.

Other factors may apply under site-specific circumstances. Although BEC site series influence stocking and soil conservation standards, there is not necessarily a direct overlap between BEC site series and standards units. For instance, some stocking standards apply to many BEC site series. In other cases, forest health factors may require the application of different stocking standards within one BEC site series.

Mosaic of site series

Some areas will have more than one distinctly different site series occurring in a mosaic in which individual site series are either too small or too intricately dispersed to map separately. These areas should be mapped as a complex, with a label indicating the relative proportion of each site series.

For example, an area with 80% mesic sites, 10% dry sites, and 10% wet sites might be labelled 018021061. If describing the mosaic as one standards unit, the predominant site series may be used as the ecology label.

Figure 15. Example of how ecological information and critical site conditions might be stated in a prescription.

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