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Significant Surface Karst Features

The following section summarizes the management objectives and recommended best management practices for significant surface karst features. As these are only brief summaries, you should also check out more detailed information in the Karst Management Handbook for British Columbia.

Management objectives

The following is a summary of the management objectives designed to protect significant surface karst features. Reserves should:

  • Protect significant surface karst features from physical damage
  • Maintain any site-specific microclimatic conditions and/or habitat/ biodiversity characteristics associated with significant surface karst features
  • Prevent soil erosion and sediment transfer into subsurface openings or caves
  • Preserve a measure of the aesthetic/recreational experience for surface karst features with high recreational values.

Recommended best management practices

Run your mouse over the following bullets to assist you in learning about the recommended best management practices.

Leave a minimum one-tree-length reserve extending outward from the edge of the feature. For sinkholes, the edge of the feature should be considered the rim of the sinkhole, as defined by the upper break of the slope enclosing the sinkhole.
Leave an adjacent management zone of an appropriate size to protect the reserve from windthrow. See Managing Windthrow.
In cases where surface karst features have high recreational values, the reserve size/shape may need to be adjusted to manage visual quality.

Figure 3-6: Reserves and management zones around significant surface karst features.

Sinkholes large enough to create their own microclimate should be managed similarly to a significant cave entrance, with a reserve of two tree lengths to maintain interior microclimatic conditions.

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