Okanagan Shuswap District

Okanagan TSA THLB Colocation Project



The Okanagan Timber Supply Area (TSA) Timber Harvesting Land Base (THLB) Colocation Project was initiated in 2016 following the Chief Forester’s Guidelines for Stewardship/Timber Harvesting Land Base Stabilization Projects, June 16, 2015 in an attempt to colocate OGMAs with constrained land base areas. 

The Provincial Non-Spatial Old Growth Order[1] establishes legal objectives for old growth retention in the Okanagan Timber Supply Area (TSA). These objectives specify the amount and distribution of old forest to be maintained on the land base to address biodiversity values, and is consistent with the published Okanagan Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) requirements. This includes separate retention targets for the Timber Harvesting Land Base (THLB) and non-THLB in place at the time of the LRMP (2001).

At the completion of the LRMP, spatial OGMAs were selected through a collaborative process that included government, industry and stakeholder representatives. Stand selections considered the biological relevance of selected stands (age, connectivity, spatial distribution) while prioritizing colocation with values such as rare ecosystems, riparian areas, wildlife habitat, sensitive or unstable soils, and other constrained areas. Current OGMA locations are not legally established so the mapped shapes are simply a means of ensuring compliance with the legal order and FSP commitments. Establishment of these non-spatial OGMAs have always allowed movement based on specific criteria and that practice will continue.  Since they were first created, limited one-off changes to OGMAs have been made by licensees over the years provided the changes were consistent with results and strategies in the licensees’ Forest Stewardship Plans.

Since the LRMP, new regulations have created caribou reserves, Wildlife Habitat Areas, and Mule Deer Winter Range snow interception cover areas.

The project has been led jointly by the provincial government and forest licensees and has attempted to be inclusive of First Nations’ input from the outset.  The project’s purpose was to adjust spatial OGMA locations in the Okanagan TSA to minimize impacts on the THLB while remaining consistent with all existing land use direction and without compromising the biodiversity value of existing OGMAs.  Specifically, the project:

  • Scored all stands in the THLB for biodiversity value considering things like stand age, deciduous content, dead wood abundance, vertical complexity, tree height, rarity, and interior forest conditions.

  • Identified OGMAs that licensees felt could be realistically harvested in the future. 

  • Moved OGMAs only when a like-for-like stand (old growth value perspective) could be found within the same landscape unit, BEC variant, and TSR2 THLB/NTHLB designation. This ensured the spirit and intent of the LRMP was met.

  • Moved OGMAs only when they could be colocated with non-timber values that limited harvest from occurring (e.g. MDWR SIC, Caribou, informal recreation areas, etc.)

  • Excluded three landscape units (Anarchist, Ashnola, and Keremeos) because they did not contain any operating area of the licensees participating in the project.

See the links below to learn more about this project: