Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
FIA Project L077001

    Carnation Creek Experimental Watershed
Project lead: Tschaplinski, Peter J. (BC Ministry of Forests and Range - Research Branch)
Imprint: [BC] :, 2007
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
The Carnation Creek Fish-Forestry Interaction Project is located at this LTRI site. This multi-agency, multi-disciplinary study of the effects of forest harvesting on a coastal watershed and its salmon and trout populations was initiated in 1970 by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and several partners. This single-watershed, intensive case study is the world’s longest, continuous investigation of the effects of forestry practices on biological and physical watershed processes. The project is currently led by the Research Branch, Ministry of Forests and Range in partnership with other provincial agencies, two federal agencies, two universities, local First Nations, the forest industry, and others. This long-term study uses an intensive, pre-treatment vs. post-treatment design that currently consists of five years of pre-harvest baseline data (1970/71-1975), six years of observations from 1976-1981 when 41% of the basin was harvested, and 24 years of post-harvest studies. Another 25% of the basin was harvested in headwater areas remote from the main stream channel in the 1990s. The study features both clearcut and largely unharvested, control sub-basins. Riparian forestry treatments vary from intensive clearcutting to a variable-width riparian buffer. Carnation Creek facilities support studies focused on determining the mid-term and long-term post-harvest responses to logging practices from the condition and attributes of the hydrologic regime, hillslopes, stream channel network, riparian forest (canopy closure), aquatic habitats (mainstream, tributary, and off-channel network), water temperatures, and salmonid populations. We employ a basin-scale, integrated approach for core data collection and analyses to (1) describe and model the sequential linkages among hillslope, drainage network, and floodplain processes; (2) develop watershed sediment and woody debris budgets; and (3) document and predict the ultimate consequences of these processes for the evolution of stream channel morphology, aquatic habitats, and fish production. The goals of this project are thus fully relevant to the FIA-FSP Sustainability Program, and is best fit within PAC Theme 1.0 “Ecosystem structure and processes, and biodiversity related to forest management”, particularly Topic 1.6 “Watershed function”. Most of the priorities under Topic 1.6 are covered by our study, particularly (1) connectivity and linkages between upslope disturbances and stream channel response, (2) evaluating the cumulative effects of forest harvesting, natural and harvesting-related disturbances on streamflow quantity, timing, water quality and aquatic habitat in downstream reaches, and (3) long-term large woody debris (LWD) recruitment and how it relates to channel type and state. Remeasurement Description -- In year one post-logging, transects of various lengths were established, and plot centre points were located along these transects at 30- or 50-metre intervals. Metal posts marked plot centres. Plots were 4m X 2m, divided into quadrants. Sampling methodology is described in more detail in King & Oswald (1982). As noted above, vegetation sampling took place in years 1, 2, 3 and reportedly 5 post-logging. This proposed remeasurement will be 25 years post-logging. Remeasurement will, for the most part, follow the methodology of King & Oswald (1982). This project will include the following steps: relocation of 1980s sampling data (from Pacific Forestry Centre archives and other locations), conversion into modern data storage media, and standardization; relocation of original transects and plot centres (with the assistance of Keith King and others involved in the 1980s sampling); remeasurement of plots; and re-establishment of plot centres and transect lines as required to enable future years measurements. Forestry Canada directly funded the initial (1980s) vegetation measurements. Future re-measurements will depend on availability of funds from FIA-FSP and other sources.
Related projects:  FSP_L088001FSP_L099001
Contact: Tschaplinski, Peter J., (250) 387-3025

Updated August 16, 2010 

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