Forest cover plays an important role in modifying the severity and frequency of natural soil mass wasting. Removal of the forest cover through forest harvesting and the associated engineering operations can alter natural processes and aggravate inherent instability. In the Queen Charlotte Islands, steep slopes, finely textured soils, frequent seismic activity, heavy precipitation, shallow rooting tree species, and high winds predispose the area to a high natural level of mass wasting.
This preliminary appraisal reviews current silvicultural operations in the Islands and proposes alternatives. Traditional silvicultural systems are described and constraints imposed by the local conditions identified. Naturally occurring forests on the Queen Charlotte Islands are compared to projected managed forests that will replace them, and successional processes and their influence on mass wasting events are discussed. The report concludes by noting several research opportunities in the study of silviculture and mass wasting.
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Updated December 16, 2008