Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
FIA Project 2824004

    Integrated Visual Design for the Morice and Lakes Innovative Forest Practices Agreement
Project lead: Burbee, Jim (Tweedsmuir Forest Ltd.)
Author: Burbee, Jim
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
The population of Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) in the interior of British Columbia (BC) has climaxed. Epidemic population levels over the last eight (8) years has resulted in the majority of lodgepole pine >60 years of age to be in various states of early attack, early mortality or degradation and decay. Licensees that form the Morice and Lakes Innovative Forest Practices Agreement (IFPA) all contain tenure that has a significant portion of their timber harvest land base comprised of damaged lodgepole pine. As vast areas of lodgepole pine degrade over time, this group of licenseesf face the challenge of balancing fiber recovery through beetle salvage operations with the vast amount of multiple use objectives placed on the land base. In particular, the licensees have significant volume based tenure that is located in areas where visual design objectives are a primary driver for forest land use planning. The intent of this visual design project is to identify a rotational three pass harvest design that finds a balance between the objectives for short term timber salvage and long term visual quality objectives. In response to finding a balanced approach between salvage recovery and visual objectives, Tweedsmuir Forest Ltd., on behalf of members of the Morice and Lakes IFPA, tendered a request for a proposal to develop an Integrated Visual Design (IVD) for fourteen (14) spatially defined visual design units (VDUs). In conjunction with the 14 VDUfs located within the IFPA, two additional VDUfs in the Vanderhoof area have been included with this proposal for Fraser Lake Sawmills. These VDUfs were located within the chart areas of the following four licensees of the Morice and Lakes IFPA: 
Babine Forest Products, Ltd, a division of Hampton Affiliates (BFP)
 Canadian Forest Products, Ltd, Houston Division (CanFor)
 Fraser Lake Sawmills, a division of West Fraser Mills Ltd. (FLSM)
 Houston Forest Products, a division of West Fraser Mills Ltd. (HFP)

The competitive tender resulted in the Visual Design Units (VDUs) being awarded to Forsite Consultants Ltd., (Forsite). Over the last several months Forsitefs team has worked in conjunction with members of the IFPA to define and complete the visual design work that was awarded to the firm. The project followed the Forest Investment Account: Integrated Visual Design Procedures and Standards Manual (anon, April 10, 2008). In addition to these procedures members of the IFPA requested that the projectsof scope and intent follow the guiding principles of the following two options in each VDU:

Option 1: design a three pass total chance plan that maximizes salvage recovery of mountain pine beetle damaged stands in the first pass. The first pass plan design will be driven primarily by maximizing the total chance feasibility of locating roads and harvest openings to target mature (.age class 5) lodgepole pine leading stands.
Leading stands were defined as forest types that were comprised of .50% lodgepole pine by species composition. This option employs an initial first pass harvest plan that uses visual design as a subordinate tool to absorb some of the effects of a large scale harvest. This option is considered a gwhat ifh or gworse case scenarioh in an attempt to model the effects of a mass removal of damaged lodgepole pine. With the diversity of stand profiles present in each VDU, it is expected that this scenario will result in some of March 2009 4 the VDUs meeting the established rVQOs without the need for additional visual design.
However, many of the VDUfs contain less of a heterogeneous mix of species and as such it is expected that option 1 will exceed the established rVQOs*;

Option 2: this option is required for VDUfs that contain rVQO values that were exceeded during the application of option 1. The intent of this option is to modify the option 1 output and use visual design as the primary driver for achieving spatially defined VQO objectives. In this option the maximization of fiber recovery of damaged pine will be considered subordinate to visual design. The requirement to abandon (reserve) a portion of the degrading lodgepole pine stand in the first pass will most likely be required. The licensees have the option to forgo implementing option 2 and apply for a FSP amendment. A draft example of an official amendment to the forest stewardship plan has been included in Appendix 6.
Two of the VDUfs located in the Prince George TSA (Ormond Lake and Fraser Lake) contain very large contiguous stands of .age class 5 lodgepole leading stands. When the total chance plan was developed to maximize lodgepole pine recovery in the first pass it was evident that the contiguous opening size that would result would be too large and obtrusive. This eworst casef scenario was still developed and labeled as Option 1; however, it is expected that this scenario would never be considered for harvest planning or a subsequent FSP amendment. In an effort to maximize pine salvage within the scope of large scale NDT 3 disturbance patterns, option 2 reflected a scaled down version of option 1. Option 2 was still very aggressive and the establishment of very large harvest openings was planned. Thus, the option 2 plan reflected the maximum level of disturbance that could be justified in an FSP amendment. It was expected that option 2 by nature would exceed rVQO thresholds and visual design techniques would have to be employed. Therefore, for these two VDUfs option 3 reflects the activity where visual design techniques were employed to bring the harvest plan within the rVQO parameters.


Final Report (1.2Mb)

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Updated August 16, 2010 

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