Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative
FIA Project 2824005

    Multi Block Silviculture Standard
Project lead: Burbee, Jim (Program Manager)
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative
This report describes the results of a project undertaken by signatories to the Morice-Lakes Innovative Forest Practices Agreement (ML IFPA) to develop multi-block stocking standards. Multi-block stocking standards are a way to assess regeneration performance on an entire population of cutblocks 13 years after harvest. The entire population of blocks either passes or fails based on whether the yield predicted to occur with observed stocking conditions, is within a certain percent of the yield predicted using the same assumptions used in timber supply analysis.

This project was undertaken to assess the risks involved in adopting a multi-block approach. The fundamental principles of a multi-block system are described along with the legislation and policy supporting the approach. A number of key uncertainties were explored using data from 67 cutblocks and three licensees. These included:
o How many years after harvest should blocks be assessed?
o How should plot data be stratified?
o Which model should be used to simulate yield?
o How sensitive is predicted yield is to stocking levels and stem distribution?
o How should issues of stem distribution be addressed?
o How should deciduous trees be addressed in the standard?
o How should forest health factors be addressed?
o How should measures of statistical confidence be incorporated?
o What process should be followed if a population fails?
o How should tracking and reporting be dealt with?
o What are the cost implications of adopting such a system?

Recommendations were provided for each of the key questions identified above and for the process of implementing a multi-block standard including steps necessary in seeking approval, how government oversight might be provided, and what types of training might be required.

The results of this project indicate that there is reasonable justification for adopting a multi-block regeneration performance standard in the ML IFPA. The suggested system is one in which TASS is used directly to simulate volume at harvest age from conditions observed 13 years after harvest. Adoption of this system will not require major changes in existing record keeping or tracking systems and could make field surveys simpler and faster and reduce treatment costs. It will also better align regeneration efforts with timber supply and habitat objectives and could eliminate contentious issues on minimum stocking requirements and strata size.

Contact: Burbee, Jim, (250) 564-1518,

Updated August 16, 2010 

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