[Ministry of Forests Annual Report 1993/94 Table of Contents]
[Reporting function]

Silviculture

Provincial Silviculture programs

The provincial Silviculture programs include:

1) Reforestation programs, including:

2) the Stand-tending program (Incremental Silviculture)

3) the Forest Health program

4) training and support activities.

1) Reforestation programs

The government reforests areas under its responsibility that have been harvested, burned by wildfire, or damaged by insects or disease. These areas include:

Nursery and Seed Operations supply seed and seedlings for planting activities under both the provincial Silviculture programs and the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program. Staff operations include seed orchard management and cone collection; seed extraction, testing and storage; seedling production at the ministry’s three nurseries; and administering seedling contracts with private nurseries, transportation and cold storage.

2) Stand-tending program

The ministry funds stand-tending activities through the Incremental Silviculture program to improve the health, productivity and value of immature forest stands.

3) Forest Health program

Forest Health activities prevent and control damage caused by disease, insects and other organisms. Forest Health staff also monitor the use of pesticides by the ministry.

4) Training and support activities

Silviculture Training and Extension staff develop and deliver or facilitate courses for Silviculture staff, forest workers and First Nations silviculture contractors. In addition, branch staff maintain a resource centre for extension and information materials.

1993/94 Progress

A summary of field accomplishments under the provincial Silviculture programs is included in Table G-3.

1) Reforestation programs

Under the reforestation programs, ongoing work included surveys, site preparation, planting, brushing and spacing (required for a stand to reach free growing). The average 1993/94 survival rate of second-year seedlings was approximately 87 per cent.

To commemorate the three-billionth tree planted in British Columbia, the Minister of Forests planted a tree in Kamloops in June 1993.

A provincial review of pre-harvest silviculture prescriptions (PHSPs) was completed in 1993/94. The findings indicated that 97 per cent of all areas harvested in the province had approved PHSPs, and that the proper approval process had been followed 98 per cent of the time.

Audit and enforcement activities of the ministry are summarized in the following tables:

Under Nursery Operations, staff shipped approximately 27 million seedlings for planting from the three ministry nurseries. Staff at the Green Timbers Reforestation Centre provided extension services to forest nurseries, and continued research on the culture of seedlings.

For trial purposes under the Tissue Culture program, B.C. Research staff produced 15,000 Interior spruce emblings (plants produced through somatic embryogenesis) for growth in two nurseries.

In 1993/94, coastal seed orchards produced enough seed to grow more than seven and a half million seedlings. Coastal Zone Seed Orchard staff:

Interior Zone Seed Orchard staff:

In 1993/94, the Seed Pest Management Group provided monitoring, assessment and extension services. In addition, the Interior Seed Transfer Guidelines were reviewed, and a workshop was held on Abies seed procurement, quality and reforestation.

Record cone collections around the province in 1993/94, from both natural stands and seed orchards, resulted in a record-breaking seed-extraction season: 19,200 hectolitres of cones were processed at the Surrey Tree Seed Centre. The status of the provincial seed inventory is provided in Table G-17.

2) Stand-tending program

Under the Incremental Silviculture program, 7,084 hectares were spaced. This represents 13 per cent of the spacing activities in the province in 1993/94.

3) Forest Health program

Under Forest Health, $7.6 million was spent on bark beetle control activities and related surveys, including:

To reduce damage caused by defoliating insects, 34,245 hectares of forest were treated by aerial application of the microbial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis Kurstaki (Btk) to control western spruce budworm, and 602 hectares were treated with a viral insecticide to control Douglas-fir tussock moth.

Treatments to control bark beetles and defoliating insects are detailed in Table G-20.

Other Forest Health activities in 1993/94 included surveys and treatment of root disease, leader weevils, porcupine damage, and others. Estimates of timber damage and areas under attack by forest pests in 1993/94 are detailed in Tables G-18 and G-19.

4) Training and support

In 1993/94, Training and Extension continued to provide financial support for the Silviculture Institute of B.C. and the B.C. Forestry Continuing Studies Network. Training and Extension staff also:

The Integrated Silviculture Information System (ISIS) was implemented in all forest districts in 1993/94. This system will enhance the ministry’s ability to plan and report silviculture accomplishments.

Forecasts

At present funding levels, it is anticipated that as the ministry’s backlog reforestation responsibilities are met, the reforestation programs will decrease. However, overall silviculture activities are expected to be maintained to ensure the health and growth of new forests. This includes providing funding for integrated resource management goals, auditing, Forest Health and stand-tending activities.

The Canada - B.C. Partnership Agreement on Forest Resource Development (FRDA II)

Program

This is a federal/provincial, cost-shared forestry agreement. Fiscal 1993/94 was the third year of the FRDA II. During 1993/94, the agreement was extended by one year, so it will now finish at the end of the 1995/96 fiscal year.

The agreement is designed to support the sustainable development of the province’s forest resources. The primary objectives of the agreement are to conduct incremental silviculture (spacing, pruning and fertilizing), and to fund initiatives in communications, extension, research, small-scale forestry, product and market development, and economic and social analysis.

1993/94 Progress

Under the agreement, silviculture activities and surveys were carried out on 36,235 hectares in 1993/94. (Table G-7)

Other accomplishments under the agreement’s seven sub-programs included:

FRDA II activities are detailed in the FRDA II 1993/94 Annual Report.

Forecast

The FRDA II agreement ends on March 31, 1996. Annual activities for the final two years of the agreement are forecast at approximately the same level as those in 1993/94.

Silviculture Activities Overview

Silviculture activities can be grouped into three major categories:

Reforestation

By law, all Crown lands harvested in British Columbia since 1987 must be reforested within a specific time frame with a crop of healthy, ecologically suitable species. Under the Forest Act, this is termed “basic silviculture.” Reforestation is also undertaken on areas affected by fire or pests, and areas that were harvested prior to 1987.

To reforest an area, some or all of the following activities are necessary:

Responsibility for reforestation

The responsibility for reforestation rests with the company that harvested the area, or with the province, depending on the date of harvest and land tenure.

Amendments to the Forest Act in 1987 made reforestation to a free-growing standard the obligation of everyone who harvests Crown timber. Major licensees are therefore responsible, at their own expense, for basic silviculture on areas harvested after October 1, 1987. Under the Small Business Forest Enterprise Program (SBFEP), basic silviculture on areas harvested after January 1, 1988 is funded by the SBFEP special account, and implemented by the ministry.

On lands that were harvested by major licensees between 1982 and Oct-ober 1, 1987, reforestation activities are funded by the ministry, but implemented by the licensees.

The ministry has full responsibility to fund and implement reforestation activities on lands harvested under the Small Business Enterprise Program prior to January 1, 1988, on all lands harvested prior to 1982, and on lands currently denuded by fire or pests.

A summary of the changes in the status of not satisfactorily restocked Crown land, by responsibility, is presented in Table 6.

To ensure that basic silviculture obligations are met, the ministry monitors and audits major licensees, and oversees basic silviculture activities under the SBFEP. Audit and enforcement activities are detailed in Tables G-8, G-9, G-10 and K-4.

Stand tending

In addition to reforestation activities, the ministry and major licensees may also conduct stand-tending activities to enhance tree growth and improve wood value and quality.

Activities may include:

Forest health

Forest health activities may be undertaken during reforestation and/or stand-tending phases. The purpose of these treatments is to prevent and control damage caused by disease, insects and other organisms.

Activities may include:

Treatments to control bark beetles and defoliating insects are detailed in Table G-20.

Treatments such as root disease eradication, which are necessary to ensure reforestation to free-growing, are required as part of the basic silviculture responsibility.

Stand-tending treatments for forest health purposes, such as pruning blister-rust infected white pine, or spacing a stand to remove mistletoe, are usually funded under stand-tending programs.

Responsibility for treatment of widespread infestations or damaging agents depends on their location and nature, and may fall to the ministry, the licensees and/or the federal government.

Silviculture activity funding

Table G-6 outlines all silviculture accomplishments on Crown land for the fiscal year. This includes ministry and non-ministry funding sources.

Funding by the ministry

Activities that are fully funded or cost-shared by the ministry (Table G-1*) include:

Non-ministry funding

Activities funded by non-ministry sources (funding not reported) include silviculture activities conducted by major licensees to meet their basic silviculture obligations. Major licensees may also voluntarily conduct stand-tending activities on some areas (Table G-4).

Entry- and bridging-level accomplishments conducted under the Forest Worker Development Program (Tables G-3 and G-5) are funded by the Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour, and by the Build BC special account. Local contracting level accomplishments are also funded by the Build BC special account.

Other reported activities include the Forestry Corrections Inmate Work Agreement, federal job creation programs, and volunteer work done by community groups. (Table G-5) Silviculture trends Graphs 1 through 9 on the following pages illustrate silviculture accomplishement trends on Crown land over the past 10 years.


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