All indications are that the current mountain pine beetle outbreak will have a significant impact on a large proportion of the pine forests in British Columbia (Eng et al. 2004). It is neither desirable nor possible to harvest all of the affected pine forests. Nonetheless, any increases beyond current harvest levels must carefully consider all forest values. This document provides recommendations to the Chief Forester about the conservation of all forest values during large-scale salvage operations:
- At the landscape level, there should be little, to no, salvage harvesting in the noncontributing land base and, at the very least, what was originally planned under existing landscape-level plans should be left .
- At the stand level, there should be no changes to the provisions made for riparian management areas and riparian reserve zones. As well, there should be no changes to the management of wildlife tree patches, wildlife habitat areas, and other fine-filter measures. Legacies of coarse woody debris should be left throughout the blocks.
- To the extent possible, the area chosen for salvage should have the highest level of infestation and the highest proportion of pine.
- The creation of large openings (> 1000 hectares) will be appropriate; however, the legacies of unharvested areas within the openings should increase in proportion to the increasing size of the opening (up to 25% in the case of 1000-hectare openings).
Other related recommendations are made about access structures, adverse effects on peak flows and soil erosion, silviculture that might lessen future problems with mountain pine beetle outbreaks, fire risk at the wildland-urban interface, and monitoring programs.
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Updated May 11, 2007