Forest Investment Account

Abstract of TERP Project #1-10

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Onion Lake terrestrial ecosystem restoration project: year one progress report

Author(s): Acer Resource Consulting Ltd.
Imprint: Terrace, B.C. : Acer Resource Consulting Ltd., 2002
Subject: Restoration Ecology, British Columbia, Kitimat Provincial Forest, Forest Investment Account (FIA)
Series: Terrestrial Ecosystem Restoration Program Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program


Historic development practices in the Kitimat Valley have resulted in large tracts of land with little or no structural diversity. Less than 3% of the original old growth forests remain, limiting the opportunities for species dependant on the snags, coarse woody debris, or the canopy variability associated with old forests. Under the Forest Practices Code, ‘coarse filter’ approaches are designed to maintain structural diversity (and thus biodiversity), by using stream buffers, wildlife tree patches and other approaches to maintain diversity and older forest in the landscape. This is not possible in the Kitimat Valley. This project was a pilot project to introduce diversity into the landscape, while monitoring the treatment costs and results in order to determine their wider operational applicability. The objectives of this project were to: 1. increase stand structure diversity and accelerate development of old growth characteristics in selected stands (wildlife tree recruitment areas), 2. determine local feasibility of long-term stand management and the potential to integrate stand treatments into mainstream, volume-oriented management, 3. establish preliminary monitoring of stand characteristics and wildlife use, 4. incorporate public participation through coordination with local naturalist clubs and the media. The intended result is the creation of several small, well distributed islands exhibiting old growth characteristics in a mosaic of commercial forests. Stand treatments included spacing, thinning, girdling and pruning. An important part of the project was ‘planting’ snags and creating CWD piles. 8.4 hectares were treated and a cost analysis was done to determine operational feasibility of the treatment regime. After treatment, baseline bird and stand condition data was collected to provide baseline information for future comparison. A report detailing the treatments and giving recommendations for future methods was produced for the Ministry of Forests. This is available from the Ministry library: Acer Resources Consulting, 2002. Onion Lake Terrestrial Ecosystem Restoration Project - Year One.
Progress report prepared for the Ministry of Forests by Acer Resources Consulting, Terrace, BC.
Project Name: Onion Lakes Ecological Restoration Project
Project Proponent: Ministry of Forests, Terrace
Keywords: snags, coarse woody debris, variable density spacing, second growth

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Updated July 25, 2006 

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