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Assessment of stream protection practices in the interior of the Prince Rupert forest region

Author(s) or contact(s): D.R. Bustard and D.J. Wilford
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Hydrology
Series: Research Report
Other details:  Published 1986. Hardcopy is available.


Stream protection measures used in forestry operations in the interior of the Prince Rupert Forest Region were reviewed through interviews and field inspections. This report describes the development of stream protection measures in the region, identifies those that have been effective, and suggests where improvements can be made in research and training.

A review of streamside treatments suggests that the larger, well-known fish streams are recognized as important, and therefore usually receive careful treatment during logging. Measures such as leave strips or logging to the stream edge leaving leaners and deciduous vegetation are generally effective in ensuring that most streams are protected.

Observations of logging along small creeks suggest that protection of these systems varies much more than that of the larger systems. In many situations, these small creeks are identified, and measures for their protection are incorporated into the layout and harvesting operations, minimizing impacts from logging. In other cases, small fish creeks are yarded across and can be badly damaged.

Sediment, particularly from roads, was identified as a major influence of interior logging operations on streams. There was a wide difference of opinion as to the extent, duration, and implications of sediment on streams. At the same time, there is nearly a total absence of monitoring or evaluating of logging-induced sediment on streams in the interior districts. It is anticipated that soil erosion leading to increased stream sedimentation will become more prevalent as logging operations move to steeper mid- and high elevation sites.

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Updated November 14, 2008