Stand Management Prescription Guidebook

Table of contents

SMP format

The Ministry of Forests SMP form has been developed to ensure that all Forest Practices Code requirements are addressed in a standardized format. The first two pages of the SMP form contain a description of:

The third and fourth pages of the form summarize site information about a treatment area (or series of treatment areas), the required treatments, and treatment standards.

Location identification (Section A)

General objective

  • To provide pertinent administrative references and information, including the required fields for ISIS and MLSIS records.


This section provides an administrative description of the treatment areas under the SMP. Through the tenure number, a link is provided to other forest management documents and information systems.

Tenure information must be consistent for plans, referrals, silviculture information systems (MLSIS and ISIS), surveys and any reports required by legislation.

As with SPs, the following information must be recorded for SMPs:

Note: Sections marked with an asterisk are required under the Operational Planning Regulations

* SU

Identifies each SU under the SMP. A separate SU is required for treatment areas with the same treatments and standards

* Area identifier

This should clearly identify for future reference where the stand is. A combination of opening number, cutblock number, timber mark, latitude/longitude, UTM grid or location name can be used to locate a treatment area.

* Treatment area

Indicates the area of the individual treatment areas. Net treatable area within these units may differ and should be confirmed post-treatment.

* Total treatment area

A sum of all treatment areas for the SMP.

Standards units

Standards units (SUs) and treatment areas (TAs) must be described in the SMP and indicated on an attached map.

In the SMP, the SU is the basis for determining the achievement of target stand objectives and standards through specific silvicultural activities. Standards unit, as defined in the OPR, means one or more areas of uniform treatments and treatment standards contained in the same SMP. The standards established for the treatment areas will be used in compliance inspections after treatments have been completed.

Treatment areas and multi-area SMPs

Treatment area, as defined in the OPR, means one or more areas of a standards unit that are proposed for treatment and have the same area identifier, and includes special areas located in the treatment area, but does not include any of the following:

Grouping treatment areas into one standards unit

Section 24 (2.1) of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act authorizes SMPs to cover more than one distinct treatment area.

Designation of treatment areas allow for portions of stands or different stands, which are physically separated from one another to be identified as separate treatment areas but amalgamated under the same standards unit, with one prescription for the entire standards unit.

Such a procedure provides significant benefits for record keeping and administration when stand management activities will be uniformly applied over many treatment areas.

The treatment areas within the standards unit should:

The key consideration before lumping a number of treatment areas into one standards unit, is the appropriateness of applying the same treatment regime and standards to all the treatment areas.

Separate standards units for treatment areas with one SMP

Where treatment areas differ in treatments and standards and/or site or stand conditions, but still have the same management objectives, one SMP "objectives description" for both treatment areas may be completed, although each treatment area would be a different standards unit. All standards unit criteria must be specified for each area, and the different SUs identified on the map.

Even though a multi-treatment area SMP can include many treatment areas, record keeping and auditing must be carried out on a treatment area-specific basis. District and licensee staff should ensure that a copy of the approved SMP and any activity accomplishment reports are stored on each opening file (or cutblock file) and on appropriate silviculture information systems.

Examples of multi-area SMP applications

Example 1. One SMP, containing one standards unit and several treatment units.

The standards unit contains more than one treatment area. Where a number of treatment areas have the same forest management objectives and the same treatment regime and standards, they may be grouped into one standards unit within one SMP.

For example: There are four proposed treatment areas in the same general geographic area. All proposed areas have similar species, stand structure and site condition. They are proposed to be spaced to 1200 sph and a uniform set of treatments and standards are planned for all treatment areas. The four treatment areas could be grouped into one standards unit which have the same treatment regime and standards.

Had different treatment areas required different treatment regimes or standards to meet the SMP management objectives, separate standards units would have been created (as in example 2).

Example 2. One SMP, containing more than one standards unit.

For example, there are four proposed treatment areas in the same geographic area. Three blocks contain similar species, stand structure and site condition and are proposed to be spaced to 1200 sph. The other area contains similar site conditions but is proposed to be spaced to 700 sph. Two separate standards units would be developed; one which contains three treatment areas being spaced to 1200 sph; and one standard unit containing one treatment area being spaced to 700 sph (See Figure 1).

Figure 1. Graphical representation of SMP definitions for standards units, treatment areas, special areas and reserve areas, simplified to show definitions. (This is not a sample SMP map.)

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