Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
FIA Project M085112

    Stand Level Harvesting in Mountain Pine Beetle Affected Stands and Impact on riparian based Cultural Resource Management Zones
Project lead: Ortner, Chris (Skeetchestn Indian Band)
Author: Karakatsoulis, John
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
The MPB riparian project builds on 2 years of research in riparian area management, a concise expression of community needs in land management know as Cultural Resource Management Zone, and several years of relationship building in the Kamloops TSA with the Skeetchestn Indian Band and forest companies operating in their traditional territory. Thompson Rivers University and the Skeetchestn Indian Band, with industrial partners (Weyerhaeuser Canada and West Fraser Limited) conducted research (2003-5) in established operating areas exploring low impact forest harvesting techniques in the riparian zone fits within the context of First Nation cultural values. Research trials were conducted using low ground pressure skidders and conventional means to compare harvesting methods and intensities, referenced with ecological impacts and the effect on cultural values. Research has encompassed control areas, 50% removal of basal areas, and full clearcuts. The results of the research are intended to increase the operability of land in the riparian zone and expand opportunities for the Skeetchestn Band to specialize in low impact harvesting in the riparian zones throughout their traditional territory. The riparian zone is the area of highest concentration of values for plants, animals and water-related habitat. The approach has identified riparian areas of up to 100 metres both sides of a water body, known as Cultural Resource Management Zones (CRMZs). Research into low impact harvesting in CRMZs will maximize economic return by integrating management of timber, water, wildlife, indigenous plants, and fisheries values with traditional ecological knowledge and wisdom. CRMZs will be operated as a linear style biodiversity improvement system (i.e. along riparian streams) to emphasize the relationship between continuous forest cover and continuous economic benefit to all forest resource users. The recent exponential expansion of Mountain Pine Beetle in the Kamloops area has opened a new opportunity for continuation of this work, within the context of the Forest Science Program. Under the Mountain Pine Beetle Program, Theme 1 (Ecosystem structure, function and processes, and biodiversity related to forest management), and topic 1.4 (e) we will explore the effectiveness of stand-level structures and habitat in maintaining biodiversity within well designed riparian zones (CRMZs), and indicate their contribution to stand level biodiversity. Biodiversity indicators will be the relative health of indigenous, culturally important plants, measured in conjunction with current beetle harvesting at the stand level, and compared to pre-existing conditions. Policy related negotiations with the Ministry of Forests have permitted the application of a reserve zone of 10 metres on Class 4 to 6 streams, and a CRMZ of 50 metres, in mountain pine beetle affected salvage areas in the Deadman River area. This represents an opportunity for applied scientific research with immediate application into the land management policy forum. The proposed research will begin with a map based analysis of recently harvested blocks (past 3 years); with a concentration on those previously field checked through prior research or ongoing Preliminary Field Reviews (PFRs), used within culturally sensitive areas. Fixed areas plots will establish the presence of absence of culturally significant plants, and their relative condition since forest harvesting. Cross referencing will be done to anticipate outcomes that would have occurred if Cultural Resource Management Zones had been fully implemented, to determine beneficial or other effects of timber harvesting. Results will be communicated to the community, and extended to forest companies and policy makers in the Kamloops TSA. Integration of findings into Forest Stewardship Plans and future Site Plans will enable a more efficient referral process, with improved outcomes for the Skeetchestn community. Relationships are established between the Skeetchestn Band, Thompson Rivers University, Weyerhaeuser Canada, West Fraser Limited, the BC Timber Sales Program, and the Forest Extension and Research Partnership (FORREX). These organizations have confirmed their interest in continuing to work with Skeetchestn.
Contact: Karakatsoulis, John, (250) 828-5462,


Executive Summary (37Kb)

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Updated August 16, 2010 

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