Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
FIA Project 8061007

    Bioassessment of Streams in the Nass TSA using the Reference Condition Approach
Project lead: West Fraser Mills Ltd.
Author: Bennett, Shauna A.
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
Forest harvesting in BC is moving from prescriptive to ‘outcome’ or results based management. In 2007, a 3 year Forest Sciences Program (FSP) funded project to develop an aquatic sustainability indicator for the Skeena region of BC was completed and a reference condition approach (RCA)1 model called the Skeena Benthic Assessment of Sediment (BEAST) was unveiled (Perrin et al 2007). In 2009, the Skeena BEAST data were re-examined to verify the data quality and accuracy, and the SkeenaBEAST model was rebuilt and renamed SkeenaBEAST09 (Bennett 2009). The Skeena BEAST was developed for routine site quality testing in forested ecosystems of northern British Columbia. The tool promotes sustainable forest management by using the condition of the aquatic biota as an indicator of whether forest management practices have adequately protected aquatic resources.
During the 2009 field season, bioassessments of 7 stream sites were carried out using Skeena BEAST09. The sites were all located in the Nass Timber Supply Area (TSA) in the Kalum Forest District. Invertebrate communities at 4 of the 7 sites departed slightly from the expected reference condition. There is a 10% probability that reference condition site can fall on or outside the 90% probability ellipse and no follow-up actions are recommended for any of the 7 sites. However, all 7 sites in the Nass TSA were all selected due to upcoming forest development plans. In the years following forest harvest in each of these watersheds, it would be useful to resample and reassess the site condition to track changes over time and identify any unacceptable trends away from reference condition in time to take remedial action.


Final report (3.3Mb)

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Updated August 16, 2010 

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