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A Landscape-level Species Strategy for Forest Management in British Columbia: Exploration of Development and Implementation Issues

Author(s) or contact(s): Shirley Mah, Kevin Astridge, Craig DeLong, Craig Wickland, Melissa Todd, Leslie McAuley, Phil LePage, Dave Coates, Ben Heemskerk, Allen Banner, and Erin Hall
Source: Resource Practices Branch
Subject: Forest Management, Landscape Ecology
Series: Technical Report
Other details:  Published 2012. Hardcopy is available.
 

Abstract

The landscape-level species strategy project was initiated in 2009 in support of the Chief Forester’s Future Forest Ecosystems Initiative. This scoping report explores the issues related to developing and implementing a landscape-level tree species strategy for forest management in British Columbia. It specifically aims to:

- identify the key elements of a landscape-level tree species strategy
- assess the implementation considerations for a landscape-level species strategy within the existing management framework
- develop an analysis methodology for portraying the landscape-level species composition and distribution for natural and managed stands

The main findings of this report are as follows:

- A landscape-level tree species strategy requires an understanding of the species biology and ecology baseline and processes; the interaction between species, climate change, and natural disturbances; the vulnerability of species and species complexes to changes in disturbance patterns and climate; and the influence of past management actions on landscape-level species patterns.
- The high level of uncertainty associated with how the climate will change and how forest ecosystems will respond over the next few decades requires a broadening of approaches to managing species at both the stand and landscape levels.
- An adaptive management framework for applying new species management approaches is required so that there is a feedback mechanism for evaluating how well the landscape-level species targets are being met or how they need to be adjusted.
- An analysis methodology for portraying tree species composition and density at a landscape-level scale was developed, and it indicated that the existing provincial data sets for mature natural stands and harvested stands provide results that are comparable with similar data sets at the regional scale.
- Effective approaches need to be developed to facilitate the successful implementation of landscape-level species strategies within our current management framework.

The report proposes that the logical extension of the analysis methodology pilot is to undertake an exploration of methodology for developing specific targets for species composition and density variability at the landscape level.

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Updated March 30, 2012