Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
FIA Project 6346024

    Learning by doing - post-treatment responses noted at four BC riparian restoration sites
Project lead: Western Forest Products Inc.
Contributing Authors: Poulin, Vincent A.; Warttig, Warren
Imprint: Vancouver, B.C. : Western Forest Products Limited, 2005
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA)
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
British Columbia began an ambitious program in the 1990ís to restore fish habitat affected by steep-slope logging and removal of timber from stream edges. Early efforts to restore riparian stands focused on the use of vegetation to stabilize bars and the planting of long-lived conifer trees in stands dominated by early-successional tree species. Soon after, International Forest Products Ltd. and Western Forest Products Ltd. embraced the testing and development of riparian restoration techniques. By using old forests as 'ecological templates' it was possible to prescribe silvicultural treatments that mimic the passage of time and more quickly return riparian function. Between 1998 and 2002, these companies completed 12 operational riparian restoration field projects, totalling 348 hectares of treated area along 70 kilometres of fish habitat. Projects focused on thinning overstocked conifer stands, releasing conifers suppressed by overstory deciduous trees, and replanting with preferred riparian tree species. Ensuring a future source of large woody debris in the shortest possible time was the primary treatment objective. However, it became apparent it was possible to achieve equally important ecological objectives by integrating terrestrial forest restoration objectives with creative use of surplus trees and the silvicultural treatments. Girdling introduced stand structure while providing short- to mid- term wildlife trees. Use of topping and habitat creation techniques produced 966 specialized biodiversity features such as topped trees, distressed trees, bat and small mammal habitats. Directional felling of surplus trees at stream edges produced 96 instream woody debris structures for enhanced fish habitat. Effectiveness monitoring at four of the twelve projects provides a window into how these projects have faired since treatment. Results provide a valuable reference for selecting and integrating restoration options for ecological recovery of riparian stands.
Vincent A. Poulin and Warren Warttig.


Monitoring Report (3.4Mb)

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Updated August 16, 2010 

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