Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project Y051005

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Evaluating large-scale forest zoning to improve the efficiency of timber production and biodiversity objectives

Author(s): Bunnell, Fred L.
Imprint: Vancouver, B.C. : University of British Columbia, 2005
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Silvicultural Systems, British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program


This report describes the Zone Allocation Model (ZAM) and outlines database development and model runs undertaken for Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 48. TFL 48 is held by Canfor Ltd, and is located in the western portion of the Dawson Forest District, in northeastern British Columbia. TFL-48 incorporates Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir (ESSF), Sub-Boreal Spruce (SBS), Boreal White and Black Spruce (BWBS) and Alpine Tundra (AT) biogeoclimatic (BEC) zones (Meidinger and Pojar 1991). TFL-48 is approximately 644,000 ha, of which 89% are productive forest (Baker 2001). The TFL currently has an annual allowable cut of 580,000 cubic metres (Baker 2001) ZAM is a spatial, forest-level planning tool designed to help planners zone forest activities (Boyland et al. 2004; Boyland and Moy 2005). All lands are allocated into one of three zone types, with a Simulated Annealing (SA) algorithm that searches for allocations that meet objective targets. Multiple objectives are included in the model through an objective function that sums the deviances from objective targets into a solution score. The basic objectives are to (i) distribute lands into zones according to zone percent targets, (ii) organize the zones into regions with basic size and shape objectives, (iii) allocate land into zones according to ecological representation targets, and (iv) allocate land into zones according to priority objective targets.

For further information, please contact Fred Bunnell, University of British Columbia (

Updated September 08, 2005 

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