The rate of windthrow was measured for 5.3 years post-harvest in partially cut lodgepole pine stands on the Chilcotin Plateau in west-central, B.C. There were no significant differences in rates between irregular group shelterwood, group selection and uncut treatments for live or dead trees. For live trees, rates were particularly low at 0.04 - 0.18% per ha per year therefore posing low risk from timber or forest health perspective. In contrast, rates were higher for dead trees at 1.4 - 2.3% per ha per year. Most of the dead trees were killed by mountain pine beetle in the early 1980's and in some stands this was up to 20% of the trees. The harvesting systems, designed to maintain northern caribou habitat as required by the Cariboo Chilcotin Land Use Plan, do not aggravate windthrow, but in light of the current mountain pine beetle epidemic, in areas reserved from harvest high levels of mortality eventual windthrow will be problematic for caribou.
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Updated April 18, 2007