Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project 4294001

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Timber Harvesting, Habitat Reserves, Riparian Buffers and Winter Resident Forest Birds: A Simulation Analysis of Alternate Management Scenarios on TFL 49

Author(s): Cumming, Steve; Jagodzinski, Robert; Haines, Christina
Subject: British Columbia, Biodiversity, Ecology, Forestry, Integrated resource management, Inventory, Landscape ecology, Other, Silviculture/Forest Management Systems, Technology/GIS/Modeling/Remote Sensing, Wildlife
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative

Abstract

We used a spatial dynamic simulation model to evaluate tradeoffs between timber supply and harvest profile, the size and nature of a network of forest habitat reserves, and measures of biodiversity under alternate management scenarios, on Riverside Forest Products Limited TFL-49. The simulation model is a customized version of FEENIX, a tool originally developed by Dr. Carl Walters at UBC, and since adapted to many theoretical and applied problems of forest ecology and management in BC and Alberta. The primary enhancement to FEENIX created for this study was a sophisticated system to construct reserve networks containing specified proportions of representative habitat types, under an objective function that incorporates economic cost, patch size and connectivity, and winter bird habitat quality. To measure biodiversity, we developed statistical models of presence/absence and species richness of winter resident forest birds, using empirical data collected by point surveys conducted in the TFL during winter 2003. The timber supply objectives for the analysis were to maintain AAC over the first 35 yr of the simulations, to minimize any subsequent decline in AAC, and maintain a premium product volume above 30% of the total harvest. This objective was satisfied under all main scenarios. Predicted habitat quality for winter forest birds was maximized by the scenarios including both management alternatives: reallocation of riparian buffer areas to habitat reserves, and modification of MP4 regeneration rules to preserve areas of non-pine conifer forest, in particular, areas of Balsam fir forest within the ESSF BEC zone. We conclude with a critical examination of the statistical models, present recommendations for future statistical analysis and model-directed field sampling to reduce uncertainties, and suggest a reconsideration of some aspects of Management Plan 4.


For further information, please contact Stephen Viszlai, Riverside Forest Products Ltd. (slviszlai@riverside.bc.ca)

Updated September 08, 2005 

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