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General objective

  • To provide additional information for decision making and for the preparation and approval of the prescription.

The assessments described below must be conducted and made available, if specifically required by the district manager. Assessments are not legally a part of a silviculture prescription, but must be completed (where necessary) before a district manager can approve a prescription.

A silviculture prescription must be consistent with the results or recommendations of any required assessments, and must provide a statement to this effect. The prescription must also contain a statement indicating that the procedures required by the Operational Planning Regulation were followed for any assessment conducted.

No assessments are required if an amendment to a forest development plan relates to an emergency harvesting operation, unless the district manager requests in writing that a terrain stability field assessment be conducted.

It is important to note that, for areas requiring joint approval by the district manager and the designated environment official, the obligations for assessments for all or part of a forest development plan are different from those for silviculture prescriptions. For an amendment to an FDP in an area with moderate likelihood of landslides (necessary for emergency situations or expedited major salvage) a terrain stability field assessment is not required. However, an SP for within a community watershed applicable to the FDP amendment area will require a terrain stability field assessment.

Terrain stability field assessments

Terrain stability field assessments must be completed if:

However, a terrain stability field assessment is not required if the cutblock is shown on a forest development plan as being located in an area with a moderate likelihood of landslides, and

Gully assessments

A gully assessment must be conducted for cutblocks located on the Coast if harvesting is proposed within the gully. Assessments must be carried out in accordance with the Ministry of Forests publication Gully Assessment Procedure Guidebook, as amended.

"Coast" refers to that geographic area contained in:

Riparian assessments

A riparian assessment must be conducted to determine the riparian class of streams, wetlands, and lakes, and to identify fish streams in community watersheds that are in or adjacent to the area under the prescription. See the Riparian Management Area Guidebook.

Visual impact assessments

If the cutblock is in a known scenic area with an established visual quality objective (VQO), a visual impact assessment must be conducted that demonstrates that the timber harvesting operations are consistent with the established VQO for the area. Known scenic area means any visually sensitive area or scenic landscapes identified through a visual landscape inventory or planning process carried out or approved by the district manager and made known by a district manager 4 months before an operational plan is submitted for approval.

For a minor salvage operation or an expedited major salvage operation, a visual impact assessment is not required unless requested by the district manager in writing.

Archaeological impact assessments

An archaeological impact assessment must be conducted that meets the requirements of the minister responsible for the Heritage Conservation Act, if the district manager is satisfied that the assessment is necessary to adequately manage and conserve archaeological sites in the area.

Forest health assessments/pest incidence surveys

A pest incidence survey is required, if requested by the district manager, to determine the nature and extent of forest health factors within the cutblock.

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