Research Branch

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Forest Productivity and Soil Conditions on Rehabilitated Landings: Interior British Columbia

Author(s) or contact(s): M. Plotnikoff, M. Schmidt, C.E. Bulmer, and M.P. Curran
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Conservation
Series: Extension Note
Other details:  Published 1999. Hardcopy is available.


In British Columbia, soil rehabilitation aims to restore productivity to forest roads, landings, and trails that are no longer needed for access, and to areas that have suffered unavoidable or accidental damage as a result of forestry operations. Soil rehabilitation is an important component of management strategies to maintain or enhance timber supply in the working forest. Restoring productivity to degraded soils can also enhance other environmental values, and contribute to successful ecosystem or watershed restoration.

Soil rehabilitation research was initiated in British Columbia over two decades ago (e.g., Vyse and Mitchell 1977), and numerous contributions since that time have been reviewed by Bulmer (1998) and Sanborn et al. (1999a). In addition, a network of new research sites has been established to test new approaches to soil rehabilitation and to improve cost-effectiveness (Berch and Xiao 1998; Dykstra and Curran 1998; Inland Timber Management Ltd. 1998; Bulmer and Curran 1999a; Sanborn et al. 1999b; Venner 1999). Despite significant progress in the past, and new information expected in the future, there is a need for information to guide operational projects that are currently under way. In particular, information is needed on the long-term effectiveness of soil rehabilitation efforts, and the extent to which operational soil rehabilitation can contribute to the timber supply. We examined tree growth and soil conditions on sites that were rehabilitated in 1991 in the British Columbia interior. The objectives of the work were (1) to document a minimum of 5 year's growth of lodgepole pine on rehabilitated landings, and compare it to growth on sites that were simply harvested, and (2) to document soil conditions affecting site productivity on the rehabilitated areas.

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Updated April 19, 2007