Forest Practices Code, Province of B.C.

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This Forest Practices Code Guidebook is presented for information only

It is not cited in regulation. The Forest and Range Practices Act and its regulations took effect on Jan. 31, 2004. This replaced the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act and regulations. For further information please see the Forest and Range Practices Act.

Soil Conservation Surveys Guidebook

2nd Edition
May 2001


Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act
Operational Planning Regulation
Timber Harvesting Practices Regulation
Silviculture Practices Regulation

Woodlot Licence Forest Management Regulation



1 Introduction

2 Overview of post-harvest and post-treatment soil inspection procedures

2.1 Different soil conservation requirements over time
2.2 Requirement for soil conservation surveys

2.3 Measuring the area occupied by permanent access structures

2.4 Measuring soil disturbance

3 Definitions and requirements

3.1 Access structures
3.2 Soil disturbance

3.3 Soil disturbance requiring rehabilitation

3.3.1 Excavated or bladed trails
3.3.2 Corduroyed trails

3.3.3 Compacted areas

3.4 Dispersed disturbance

3.4.1 Dispersed trail: wheel or track ruts
3.4.2 Dispersed trail: repeated machine traffic
3.4.3 Deep gouges
3.4.4 Wide gouges
3.4.5 Long gouges
3.4.6 Very wide scalps
3.4.7 Wide scalps
3.4.8 Rehabilitation disturbance
3.4.9 Prescribed fire impacts
3.4.10 Woodlot licence area requirements

4 Survey methods

4.1 Information needed from the approved plan
4.2 Visual inspection

5 Survey methods for access structures

5.1 Road traverse survey

5.1.1 Width measurement interval
5.1.2 Width measurement

5.2 Landing survey

5.2.1 Hip chain traverse
5.2.2 Representative length and width measurements

6 Survey methods for soil disturbance

6.1 Site stratification

6.1.1 Criteria for stratified areas
6.1.2 Surveying roadside work areas

6.2 Classifying soil disturbance

6.2.1 Assessing the survey point
6.2.2 Assessing the area around the survey point

7 Transect method for areas 10 hectares and smaller

7.1 Preparation
7.2 Field survey layout
7.3 Observations along the transect
7.4 Locating subsequent transects
7.5 Field calculation procedure
7.6 Finalizing the survey

8 Transect method for areas larger than 10 hectares

8.1 Grid centres and grid layout
8.2 Transects and points
8.3 Calculations

9 Site summary

9.1 Mapping


      1. Requirements and definitions for prescriptions approved under
        the Forest Practices Code 1995 Operational Planning Regulation
      2. Flow chart for correct assessment of soil disturbance survey points
        under the Forest Practices Code
      3. Table of random numbers
      4. Grid spacing for large area method
      5. Field marking conventions
      6. Forms
      7. Counted soil disturbance categories and recommended limits
        according to hazard ratings


      1. Soil disturbance categories usually requiring rehabilitation
      2. Dispersed disturbance categories
      3. Transect and point spacings for small area surveys
      4. Decision rules for comparing survey results to prescription limits


      1. Depth assessment of wheel or track ruts
      2. Layout for road traverse survey
      3. Separate surveys for roads with different widths
      4. Measuring road widths on sloping ground
      5. Measuring road widths on level ground
      6. Idealized layouts for landing surveys
      7. Sampling window orientation
      8. Sampling windows can overlap
      9. Equivalent sampling window sizes
      10. Typical transect survey layout for small areas
      11. Transect survey layout for large areas
      12. Omit points outside the net area to be reforested
      13. Flow chart for forms recording large area transect surveys