Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
FIA Project 6654011

    Forest Habitat Structure
Project lead: Western Forest Products Inc.
Author: Huggard, David J.
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
Western Forest Products (WFP) monitored habitat structure in 22 operational cut-blocks in 2007, continuing the program of MacMillan-Bloedel, Weyerhaeuser and Cascadia Forest Products (MB/W/C). The monitoring included blocks in the former tenures of Cascadia, CanFor and WFP. Most sites were group or mixed retention in CWHxm (with similar results for the two systems), or group retention in CWHvm. Retention of 50 habitat elements in the operational blocks was compared to levels in benchmark sites in uncut forest. Interpreting results as operational progress in a simple adaptive management loop is difficult, because there have been many changes in ownership, tenures and markets in the past few years. However, the results provide a baseline for looking at trends in the future, and suggest several weak points in habitat retention that could be a focus for operational improvement:

-Retaining some of the largest trees in CWHxm blocks.
-Retaining higher densities of large trees in CWHvm in the former CanFor and WFP operations.
-In WFP operations, retaining some very large snags, even if these are relatively well-decayed and short veterans from a previous stand.
-For all tenures, maintaining mid-size to moderately large snags in CWHxm.
-In CWHvm, where snag retention was higher, emphasizing important rare features, like big hollow snags.
-Continuing to try to retain tall snags in CWHxm, which have declined in the former MB/W/C tenure. In CWHvm, there was some improvement in retention of this element in MB/W/C operations, but they were rare in CanFor and WFP blocks.
-CWD was generally retained or created at high levels, except for soft wood in CWHvm in general, and in CWHxm in WFP operations, a sign of considerable ground disturbance during harvesting in these sites.


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Updated August 16, 2010 

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