Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FII Project R2003-255

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Ecosystem-Based Management Framework and Implementation Tools/Regional Spatial Analysis

Author(s): Hamilton, Tony (BC Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management)
Subject: Integrated resource management
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program

Abstract

We first have identified in excess of 130 floral species which comprise the main food plant species, medicinal plant species, food mushroom species, medicinal mushroom species and floral greenery species of BC’s Central Coast, the Bella Coola Valley, and of Haida Gwaii.
Given current and future short term market demands, we have then extracted from this master listing the best economic bets for commercial development within each of these five subcategories –edible and medicinal plants, edible and medicinal/nutraceutical fungi, and floral greenery. Then from these best economic bets, we have further detailed the best bets for three regions – the Central Coast, Haida Gwaii, and Bella Coola. These species are Devil’s Club on Swindle and Cone Islands (near Klemtu); chanterelles and medicinal mushrooms on Haida Gwaii, and pine mushrooms in the Bella Coola Valley.
Given these results, we have produced a simple economic gain spatial analysis which clearly indicates within selected regions of the core CIT area, the approximate distribution of these economic best-bet species by map polygon, (Appendix I.) and (2) economic gain scenarios for three sub-regions—in the Bella Coola Valley, and on parts of Haida Gwaii and the Central Coast. These scenarios discuss how First Nations and other local people can maximally benefit from these non-timber forest resources through a variety of mechanisms –wildcrafting and selling of dried raw materials, making products from cultivation forests, medicinal plant and fungi walks, and other forms of integration of plants and fungi into First Nations ecotourism efforts.
In the process of assigning an economic value to the areas, to the extent realistically possible we have estimated (1) the nature of potential economic gains in terms of jobs, annual revenues from specific activities, labour costs and profits associated with different types of commercializing the NTFPs such as wildcrafting of raw materials, initiating cultivation forests, production of extract products, etc. (2) the profit distributions, (3) levels of the activities for both economic viability and species sustainability; (4) inputs, by activity, to realize these gains in terms of resource ownership and tenure, product and market development, and training needs.
With respect to profit distribution, our scenarios are aimed at directing all profits from the development of the non-timber forest resources to First Nations which inhabit the lands from which these resources are being taken.
Stand history files for specified sub-regions of the Central Coast and Haida Gwaii were examined along with forest cover maps and descriptions of ecosystems from the literature.
The timber licensees cruise data has provided relevant information concerning populations for some of the medicinal fungi such as the Ganodermas, Fomitopsis pinicola and others. Wild edible mushroom populations were estimated using data from the literature and mushroom buyers. Populations of medicinal plant species such as Oplopanax horridus were estimated primarily from ecosystem description data provided by the Ministry of Forests, timber licensees, and data from previous research. Where available, information from ground checking was also assessed. In our analyses, we selected three sub-regions -- involving approximately 10,000 hectares of Kitasoo/Xaixais traditional territory, the Bella Coola Valley, and approximately 10,000 hectares on Haida Gwaii. Sites within these areas no smaller than 500 to 1,000 hectares were assessed. Accompanying maps have also been produced indicating the concentrations of Devil’s Club on Swindle and Cone Islands, hard medicinal mushroom species in regions of Haida Gwaii, and concentrations of Pine Mushrooms in and around the Bella Coola Valley.


For further information, please contact Tony Hamilton, BC Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management

Updated September 08, 2005 

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