Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
FIA Project Y061071

    Forecasting forest vegetation response to management activities aimed at reducing ungulate browse in mountain caribou winter range
Imprint: [Kamloops, B.C.] : [Thompson Rivers University], 2006
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Caribou, British Columbia, Ecology, Effect of habitat modification on, Forest management
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
The Mountain Caribou has been identified federally and provincially as a Species at Risk. A scientific panel (Messier et al. 2004), in reviewing the reasons for the declining population of the Lake Revelstoke herd, has recommended that the local landscape be managed to decrease early-seral conditions as a way of rebuilding populations of endangered mountain caribou. The panel argued that low elevation logging has increased the food supply for moose and deer, that the population of these species has increased and has led to increased populations of wolves and cougars, and that these predator species, in combination with black and grizzly bears as well as wolverines, have led to reductions in the local population of mountain caribou. This proposition is supported by the recent work of Wittmer (2004) in British Columbia who found that adult female caribou had lower survival rates in areas that contained more early-seral forests. The panel suggested that vegetation conditions could be modified by silvicultural activities or by reductions in the rate of forest cutting. This report deals with the second phase of the project. We developed a sampling plan and sampled vegetation response to forest management activities and other key land base activities (e.g. transmission lines) in the Columbia valley, after stratifying for ecological conditions and focusing on the key browse species. We have also re-measured wildlife exclosures and adjacent control plots to assess the effect of ungulate browsing on vegetation development. The information from all samples has been combined with existing vegetation response data and used to predict vegetation responses using a simple landscape level model written in the SELES language. Following this work we will meet with local forest managers and other interested parties to develop a 1st approximation vegetation management plan. The plan will specify operational harvesting and silvicultural techniques and monitoring methods to be applied in the Columbia Valley in order to reduce the availability of ungulate browse.
Alan Vyse.
Related projects:  FSP_Y072071
Contact: Vyse, Alan, (250) 372-8607,


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Updated August 16, 2010 

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