Forest Practices Branch


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Understanding ecosystem processes - rangeland health brochure 3

Author(s) or contact(s): BC Ministry of Forests - Forest Practices Branch
Source: Forest Practices Branch
Subject: Range Management
Series: Brochure
Other details:  Published 2002. Hardcopy is available.
 

Abstract

What is rangeland?

All areas of the world that are not barren deserts, farmed, or covered by bare soil, rock, ice, or concrete can be classified as rangelands.

Times are changing. For much of British Columbia’s history, its rangelands were thought of in terms of how much livestock grazing they provided. Uplands were managed for forage production. Riparian areas were considered "sacrifice areas" impractical to manage within the context of vast uplands. Wetlands were "wastelands" to be drained and put to "productive" use.

Those days are over. One of the most powerful forces of change is society’s growing awareness of the value and vulnerability of western rangeland watersheds and their associated riparian areas and wetlands. This awareness is being translated into a growing body of laws, policies, and regulations. These require rangeland grazing practices that will protect and enhance ecosystem diversity and water quality on rangeland watersheds.

As the Forest Practices Code is implemented, the range resources of the province are being assessed and managed to achieve broad land use goals. One of these goals is to assure that Crown range is utilized properly to maintain or improve all resource values. This brochure will help you gain an understanding of ecosystem processes and how they operate in upland and riparian range at Properly Functioning Condition (PFC). Refer to brochure 4 in this series for details on management tools that can be used to achieve or maintain PFC.

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Updated October 17, 2008