Range Use Plan Guidebook

Table of Contents

Appendix 3

A sample range use plan

Process:

1. The district manager provides the following information to the agreement holder:

2. The agreement holder incorporates district manager information into the plan and also includes a grazing schedule and measures to address the strategies supplied by the district manager.

3. The plan is advertised and referred.

4. The agreement holder finalizes changes to the plan and submits it to the district manager for approval.

5. Ministry of Forests staff review the plan and complete the checklist.

6. The district manager reviews the plan and approves it if it adequately manages the resource.

Approval Checklist for XYZ Ranch Range Use Plan

Article

Included

N/A

Comments

Map showing:




Agreement boundaries

X



Community watershed boundaries


X


Ungulate winter range

X



Wildlife habitat areas


X


Range developments

X



Resource features that might be affected by livestock use




Wildlife habitat features

X



Streams, wetlands, lakes

X



Recreational facilities


X


Research installations


X


Domestic water intakes


X


Snow courses


X


Cultural heritage features


X


Known sensitive areas


X


Key areas

X



Plantations

X







Measures to address d.m. strategies




Ungulate winter range

X



Biological diversity

X



Resource features and/or sensitive areas

X



PFC in riparian areas

X



Achieving desired plant communities

X



Water quality objectives


X


Trees not free growing

X







Grazing schedule for all plan area




Livestock class, numbers and AUMs

X



Periods of use

X



Unfenced private land


X






Key areas




Range readiness criteria

X



Average stubble height

X



Browse use levels

X







Advertised

X



Referrals

X



Review and comment

X



Responses to referrals/comments

X



Prepared by: __________________________ District manager's initials:__________

Range Use Plan

RUP #: 001 XYZ RANCH

The district manager, pursuant to section 41 of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, has determined that this range use plan will adequately manage and conserve the forest resources of the agreement area.

This range use plan is associated with the following range agreement.

NAME: J. P. Rancher _______RANGE AGREEMENT #: 675

ADDRESS: Box 7, Slow Creek __________FILE #: 2000-01

TELEPHONE: (250) 555-0000 STOCK RANGE: River Range

RANGE UNIT: Spring Fire

Undisplayed Graphic

Submitted by:

____________________________________ on

__________________


Signature of range agreement holder

mm/dd/yy

Undisplayed Graphic

This range use plan takes effect on:

_____________________


mm/dd.yy

This range use plan expires on:

______________________


mm/dd/yy

Approved by:

_________________________________ on

____________________


Signature of district manager

mm/dd/yy

Map

Undisplayed Graphic

Measures to address strategies provided by the district manager

Strategies relating to

Measures

Ungulate winter range for California bighorn sheep as mapped in Lower Flats and Spring Fire areas

• Follow the grazing schedule and stocking rate prescribed

• Graze native bunchgrass range from June 1 to June 30 in order to allow forage plants to regrow

• Distribute livestock use uniformly by active herding in order to remove decadent old grass growth

Biological diversity

• Graze native bunchgrass between June 1 and June 30

• Allow understorey plants to regrow prior to fall

• Follow the grazing schedule and use level prescribed

• Revegetate any disturbed sites within 3 years

Resource feature/sensitive areas. There is a rattle- snake hibernaculum in the Lower Flats area.

• A 100 m drift fence will be constructed to exclude cattle from the immediate vicinity of the site. This is shown on the attached map.

PFC in riparian areas – Spring Fire

• Livestock use will occur when soils are dried to point where they are not susceptible trampling and compaction

• Livestock use will occur prior to mid-July in order to prevent browsing of willow shoots

• Livestock will be removed from the riparian portion of the unit when the average stubble height in the key area reaches 8 cm

• Livestock will be distributed by daily herding and by placement of salt blocks. Salt blocks will be placed no closer than 400 m from the riparian area

• Two off-stream water sites will be developed at kms 3 and 5 of Meandering Creek

Plant communities in areas negatively affected by livestock. These are noted in the grazing schedule.

• Follow the prescribed grazing schedule and levels of use

Will not exceed 15 % use of current year’s browse in key areas

Water quality objectives – None exist for this area

• Not applicable

Trees not free growing

• Will not salt within 400 m of plantations

• Remove livestock from the unit when a stubble height of 8 cm is reached or prior to Sept. 15

Wildlife habitat areas – None in this area

• Not applicable

Grazing schedule

Pasture name

No. of livestock by class

AUMs

Period of use

Key areas as mapped

Range readiness criteria

Average stubble height at end of period; Maximum % browse use

Current plant community

Desired plant community

Lower Flats

100 cow/calf pairs

4 bulls

100

4

May 1 to May 31

Seeded

Crested wheatgrass at 4.0 leaf stage (10 cm)

Soils dried so grass plants not easily uprooted and tram-pling will not occur

5 cm

15% browse

Crested wheatgrass

same

Spring Fire

50 cow/calf pairs

50

June 1 to June 30

Open burn area

Bluebunch wheatgrass at 4.5 leaf stage

Soils dried so grass plants not easily uprooted and trampling will not occur

12 cm on bluebunch

7 cm on bluegrass

15% browse

Early seral community of open Douglas-fir, bluegrass, pinegrass and some bluebunch wheatgrass

Late seral community of open Douglas-fir forest, bluebunch wheatgrass Rocky mtn fescue

Upper Breaks

50 cow/calf pairs

50

June 1 to June 30

None

Soils dried so grass plants not easily uprooted and trampling will not occur

8 cm

15% browse

Lodgepole pine forest with pinegrass

Same

Windy Mountain

50 cow/calf pairs

35

July 1 to July 21

Sub-alpine

Soils dried so grass plants not easily uprooted and trampling will not occur

8 cm

15% browse

Kobresia, Rocky mountain fescue and willow

Same

Upper Flats

50 cow/calf pairs

50 cow/calf pairs

125

90

July 1 to Sept. 15

July 22 to Sept. 15

Cutblocks

Soils dried so grass plants not easily uprooted and trampling will not occur

8 cm

15% browse

Cutblocks with lodgepole pine, pinegrass fireweed and brome

Same

The district manager has provided the following information to the agreement holder.
It will be retained on file at the Ministry of Forests district office

XYZ Ranch Agreement Area

1. Map
2. Plant communities and key areas

These are plant communities that have been, or may be, significantly affected by livestock use. Key areas are portions of a range agreement area selected because of their value as a monitoring site for grazing use.

Pasture name

Current plant community

Desired plant community

Key areas as mapped

Range readiness criteria

Average stubble height at end of period

Maximum % browse use

Lower Flats

Crested wheatgrass

Same

Seeded

Leaf stage of 4.0 (10 cm)

Soils dried so grass plants not easily uprooted and trampling will not occur

5 cm

15%

Spring Fire

Early seral community of open
Douglas-fir, bluegrass, pinegrass and some bluebunch wheatgrass

Late seral community of open
Douglas-fir forest, bluebunch wheatgrass, Rocky mtn. fescue

Open burn area

Bluebunch wheatgrass at 4.5 leaf stage

Soils dried so grass plants not easily uprooted and trampling will not occur

12 cm on bluebunch

7 cm on bluegrass

15%

Upper Breaks

Lodgepole pine forest with pinegrass

Same

None

Soils dried so grass plants not easily uprooted and trampling will not occur

8 cm

15%

Upper Flats

Cutblocks with lodgepole pine, pinegrass, fireweed, and brome

Same

Cutblocks

Soils dried so grass plants not easily uprooted and trampling will not occur

8 cm

15%

Windy Mountain

Open sub-alpine area dominated by Kobresia, Rocky Mountain fescue and willow

Same

Sub-alpine meadow

Soils dried so grass plants not easily uprooted and trampling will not occur

8 cm

15%

3. Resource features (including streams, wetlands or lakes), sensitive areas and riparian areas that may be negatively affected by livestock use
  1. Riparian areas and features that are non-functional or at risk. Portions of Slow Creek and its adjacent riparian area within the Spring Fire area have received heavy use and are rated as highly at risk. The attached function checklist shows the specific reaches and concerns.
  2. There is a rattlesnake hibernaculum in the Lower Flats area. This areas needs to be protected from cattle use during the spring dispersal period.

Streams Riparian Function Checklist

Range Unit: Windy Mountain____Range Agreement Holder: XYZ Ranch_________
Range Agreement Number:____________

UTM Coordinates:____________ BEC Subzone:_____________

Name of Stream: Meandering Creek______

Date: Aug 21/00 Segment/Reach ID: beaver dam to road
Gradient of Segment: Low Medium or High

Stream type: Perennial, Intermittent or Ephemeral Continuous or Interrupted

Observers: R.J. Ranger _________

Yes

No

N/A




Channel Structure, Function and Diversity
X

Channel characteristics (rocks, large woody debris) and associated floodplain (access to overflow areas) are adequate to dissipate energy.

X

Channel and banks are relatively stable.


X

Lateral movement is associated with natural sinuosity.


X

The segment is vertically stable.


X

Erosion, deposition and movement of bed materials are normal for this reach.


X

Bank shearing, soil compaction and bare ground are uncommon.


X

Sinuosity, width/depth ratio, gradient, pool/riffle ratio, and other aspects of channel geometry are in balance with the landscape setting (e.g., landform, geology).


X

Inputs of organic debris from adjacent riparian area and subsequent incorporation into the channel are normal for area.


X
Banks are undercut.

X

Riffle bed materials and gravels are free of sediment. Fish spawning and use of rock undersides by insects and other invertebrates are possible.




Flow Regime
X

Flow rates and timing remain unchanged over time (i.e., perennial to intermittent or ephemeral; continuous to interrupted).




Biotic Community

X

Roots of trees, shrubs, and grasses extend into the stream. Root masses are capable of withstanding high streamflow events and allowing formation of overhanging banks.


X+

The plant community exhibits high vigour and indicates maintenance of riparian soil moisture characteristics.


X

Occurrences of trampling, rubbing or browsing are uncommon.


X

Riparian plant communities are an adequate source of replacement woody debris, both now and in the foreseeable future.


X

A diversity of vertebrate and invertebrate life is evident.




Nutrient Inputs and Water Quality
X

Nutrient levels are normal (there is a lack of algae mats and organism die-offs and there is a good aquatic organism diversity).

X

Inputs of fine organic matter are appropriate (leaves, small branches, and twigs).

Check one:
PFC
At risk                 X
Non-functional

Notes: Is the desired plant community present (diversity -- species, comp., age classes, structure, form)? No___
Does the substrate make this stream susceptible to either vertical or lateral erosion? Yes___
Soils types and textures? medium Are riparian soils subjected to prolonged saturation and anaerobic conditions? No___
Is the stream beaver controlled? Yes Is the stream effluent or influent?
Have land uses altered the dynamics of the system? Yes_____

+ Sedge community and associated grasses vigorous, however, K. bluegrass borders sedge, implying drying or narrowing.
Lack of willows
Kentucky bluegrass

4. District manager–supplied objectives and strategies

Goal

Objective

Strategy

• A viable California bighorn sheep population within the unit

• Maintain the functional integrity of California bighorn sheep winter range as outlined on the map

• Maintain an adequate fall standing crop of forage

• Use livestock to pre-condition forage on open grassland units

• Open grasslands are to have a fall standing crop of bluebunch wheatgrass in excess of 20 cm

• A healthy, natural ecosystem

• Maintain a natural level of biological diversity

• Maintain a perennial bunchgrass community in the open range area, natural stand structure and layers in the open forested community, and natural linkages (prevent unnatural cover breaks)

• Maintain a healthy sub-alpine plant community on Windy Mountain

• Manage livestock by controlling the timing, level and distribution of use

• Through a combination of grazing, chemical and biological control methods, limit the spread of noxious weeds. Advise the Ministry of Forests of any new infestations.

• Revegetate soils disturbed during construction of range developments within 3 years

• A healthy, natural ecosystem

• Maintain and protect resource features/sensitive areas

• Restore any damaged resource features within 10 years through livestock management and range developments

• Protect the natural salt-lick in the Lower Flats area

• A healthy functioning watershed with intact riparian plant communities

• Maintain or achieve properly functioning condition in riparian areas

• Manage livestock use and implement range developments so that damaged stream and riparian sections are restored to properly functioning conditions (PFC) within 10 years

• Manage livestock use and implement range developments to restore a dense corridor of willow through natural recruitment along Slow Creek within 15 years

• Manage livestock use and implement range developments to maintain stable soils and streambanks

• Manage livestock use and implement range developments to prevent an accumulation of faecal material within the riparian area

• Reduce livestock watering from creek

• A healthy natural ecosystem

• DPCs as outlined in part 2 above

• Manage livestock use so as to achieve DPCs within 15 years

• Clean drinking water

• No objectives exist

• No issues

• A viable forest industry

• Achieve free growing conditions on newly planted cutblocks

• Manage livestock grazing to remove competing grass and forb growth from plantations

• Manage livestock to limit trampling and browsing of conifer seedlings

• Prevention of wildlife extirpation

• No WHAs in area

• No issues

 

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