Generic Forest Health Surveys Guidebook


Table of Contents


Introduction

This guidebook is intended to assist field practitioners in determining forest health issues and the incidence of forest health factors in high-hazard forest ecosystems. These are forest ecosystems that are constantly being adversely affected by forest health factors. Consult the Glossary for the meaning of specialized words or phrases and Appendix 1 for a list of acronyms used in this guidebook.

The Operational Planning Regulation (OPR) requires an evaluation of forest health issues relevant to the area under the forest development plan (FDP). Where there are significant risks to resource values identified in the plan, appropriate management strategies to deal with those effects must be undertaken during the term of the plan. Additionally, subject to district manager requirement, a forest health assessment to determine the nature and extent of forest health factors must be completed for the area under the plan.

FDP forest health assessments (typically hazard or risk surveys requested by the district manager) will be undertaken for areas where the licensee expects to be operating over the period of the plan. Usually, the district manager will require surveys if significant pest problems affect the implementation of the plan within a reasonable time period.

The process in the FDP of conducting a forest health assessment for possible treatment action is described in Figure 1. Landscape-level surveys and their relationship with operational and stand-level forest health surveys are shown in Figure 2. A complete list of all landscape- and stand-level forest health surveys is described in Table 1.

The district manager may also request a pest incidence survey of forest health factors in a cutblock or silvicultural opening described in the FDP. Typically, this involves an assessment of specific factors. Survey procedures related to specific factors are included in the guidebooks, describing bark beetles, defoliators, dwarf mistletoes, pine stem rusts, root diseases, terminal weevils, and tree wounding and decays. The district manager may set the scope and attributes of each requested survey.

In addition, some regions have standard operating procedures for specific forest health factor surveys unique to those regions provide more detail than is included in this guidebook.

Figure 1. Process of pest hazard or risk rating related to Forest Development Planning.

a See regional forest health charts listed at the end of the introduction section
b See relevant forest health guidebooks

Figure 2. Landscape-level forest health surveys and their relationship with operational and stand-level surveys.

a Conducted by the BCMOF.
b Assumed that no ground-based surveys or walkthroughs are considered necessary at the landscape level for low damage risk situation. A determination that an area is at low risk could be made from a review of forest charts for the area and with assistance from the aerial overview survey.
c Expected that pest incidence surveys are particularly useful for moderate pest damage risk areas. Treatments associated with high pest damage areas are expected, and treatments associated with low pest damage risk areas are expected to be uncommon.

Table 1. Summary of forest health surveys for Forest Practices Code plans and prescription-level surveys

Survey Reference

Status

I. Forest Health Inventory

Aerial Overview Surveys (>1:100,000 )a Forest Health Surveys Guidebook established
Survey for Pest Incidenceb Forest Health Surveys Guidebook new
II. Operational Surveys

A. Landscape-levelc Surveys

Operational Aerial Surveys (1:50,000) Forest Health Surveys Guidebook established
Forest Health Walkthrough Forest Practices Branch availabled
Bark Beetle Damage Probes Bark Beetle Management Guidebook established
Defoliator Damage Prediction
Egg mass survey for:
Defoliator Management Guidebook
– Douglas-fir tussock moth
established
– eastern spruce budworm
established
– western black-headed budworm
established
– western hemlock looper
established
– western spruce budworm
established
Adult monitoring for: Defoliator Management Guidebook
– Douglas-fir tussock moth
established
– western hemlock looper
established
2nd instar larval sampling for Defoliator Management Guidebook
– eastern spruce budworm
established
– western spruce budworm
established
B. Stand-level Surveyse

1. Generic stand-level surveys:

Multipest survey Forest Practices Branch availabled
Silviculture surveys Silviculture Surveys Guidebook
– circular (3.99m) plots
established

a Conducted by the BCMOF.
b Background information for licensees and BCMOF.
c Related to FDP creation.
d Related to silviculture and stand management prescriptions.
e This survey is available from the Forest Practices Branch. It has been previously developed and has been rarely used in past years.

 

Survey Reference Status
B. Stand-level Surveys
(Continued) f


2. Specific stand-level surveys

Root disease surveys Root Disease Management Guidebook
– Pre-harvest walkthrough
established
– 100% sketch map
established
– Pre–stand tending transect
established
– Post-harvest stump-top (for tomentosus)
established
– Pre-harvest transect (intersection length method)
established
Dwarf mistletoe surveys Dwarf Mistletoe Management Guidebook
– Hawksworth rating system
established
Stem rust surveys Stem Rust Management Guidebook
– Pre–stand tending rust assessment
established
Wound and decay surveys Tree Wound and Decay Guidebook
– Post-harvest tree damage assessment
established

fRelated to silviculture and stand management prescriptions.

To identify potentially high-hazard forest ecosystems, refer to the regional forest health charts or contact regional forest health staff. Stand susceptibility maps relevant to the forest health factors available in some regions should also be consulted. These information sources must be considered together because there is no single reference listing forest health hazard levels for all forest ecosystems. Forest health charts available from regions are as follows:

Forest health charts are not published for the Cariboo and Prince George forest regions, although the information may be available from regional staff.

Where there are no high-hazard forest ecosystems within the FDP area, a summary note in the FDP should satisfy the OPR incidence reporting requirement.

When a high-hazard area is found, specific surveys should be conducted to quantify the incidence and hazard of the relevant forest health factors. An operational aerial survey of the FDP area is recommended. Additional surveys that may be prescribed are listed in Table 1.

As more information becomes available, the FDP may be updated through amendment, and treatments to minimize pest risk included in future site-specific prescriptions.

Recommended procedures encompassing forest health, and associated with the completion of a silviculture prescription, are found in the Guidelines for Preparation of Silviculture Prescriptions. Details concerning specific forest health surveys will be found either in this guidebook or in other forest health guidebooks devoted to specific damage agents. Silviculture surveys are used to measure the achievement of healthy free growing stands; the survey procedures are outlined in the Silviculture Surveys Guidebook.

 

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