Snow avalanches are a common phenomenon in most mountain ranges of British Columbia and forest damage is a natural occurrence. Forest harvesting on steep slopes in areas of high snow supply can create new avalanche start zones. Snow avalanches starting in recently harvested areas can damage new plantations, destroy downslope forest resources, and lead to soil loss and site degradation. Snow avalanches can be triggered by forest workers or winter recreationists in steep cutblocks; that is, in areas that were not prone to avalanching prior to harvest.
This handbook addresses snow and avalanche phenomena in a forestry setting and presents a risk assessment procedure suitable for incorporation in the terrain stability field assessment process. The handbook outlines harvest design and silvicultural strategies to reduce the risk of avalanche damage resulting from forest harvesting. Strategies for managing avalanche risks in winter are presented. An extensive bibliography is included, along with links to relevant publications, data sources, and resources available on the internet.
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Updated April 26, 2007