Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project 4217002

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West Kootenay Ecosystem Representation Analysis

Author(s): Wilson, Steven F.
Subject: British Columbia, Ecology, Forestry
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative


In support of a number of sustainable forest management projects, I conducted an analysis of ecosystem representation in the unmanaged land base on the Arrow Timber Supply Area (TSA), Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 23 and TFL 3. Ecosystems were mapped on the basis of ecosystem 'clusters' developed by Wells et al. (2004) and predictive ecosystem mapping collated for the West Kootenay GIS database project (McGuiness 2003). Ecosystem clustering was coordinated among 4 subregions: Boundary, West Kootenay, Columbia and East Kootenay. Each ecosystem was assigned to one subregion, based on the distribution of biogeoclimatic subzone variants among subregions. I calculated the proportion of each ecosystem that occurred in the unmanaged land bases of the Arrow TSA, TFL 23 and TFL 3. This included areas such as inoperable forest and parks, but excluded non-forested areas. I also calculated the proportion of the contributing land base that was comprised of each ecosystem type. Thirty-five distinct ecosystems were mapped on the Arrow TSA, TFL 23 and TFL 3. Based on the analysis of subregional responsibility, 19 were distinct West Kootenay ecosystems, 5 were considered Boundary ecosystems, and 11 were common to the Columbia subregion. The West Kootenay xeric-mesic ICH mix ecosystem type was the most common, covering 30% of the contributing land base.
The risk function suggested that many of the ecosystems associated with the highest environmental risk were also ecosystems for which the West Kootenay subregion had low responsibility. The subxeric-mesic ICH mix ecosystem was associated with relatively high risk and also comprises a substantial portion of the THLB of the Arrow TSA, TFL 23 and TFL 3. Completion of the ecosystem representation analysis was an important step in the continuing development of sustainable forest management planning in the West Kootenay. The results of the analysis will be used as inputs to other projects that will examine trade-offs among different SFMP indicators.

For further information, please contact Steven F. Wilson, EcoLogic Research (

Updated September 08, 2005 

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