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Learning Objectives

In this lesson, participants will:

  • To create awareness about the need for windthrow assessment and management to achieve forest management objectives.

This lesson contains 5 pages. It starts with a review of windthrow assessment and management. Links are provided to the relevant sources for best practices. New forest practices that increase the need for windthrow management are highlighted. The shift in emphasis from windthrow salvage to windthrow management is presented.

Windthrow is a natural disturbance agent in British Columbia forests. Windthrow can impact integrated management prescriptions that depend on maintenance of residual trees within or adjacent to harvested areas. Post-harvest windthrow can reduce the effectiveness of prescriptions for riparian and biological reserves, visual quality and partial cutting. In addition, salvaging windthrow can disrupt harvest planning.

Traditional methods of managing windthrow included locating block boundaries to reduce windthrow and progressively salvaging windthrow in damaged areas. The role of windthrow as a natural disturbance agent is recognized and when windthrown areas are salvaged, retention of some structural features is important.

Increasing emphasis on non-timber objectives makes windthrow management more challenging. Smaller blocks with more complex boundaries, partial cuts and reserve areas increase the number of trees at risk, and limit a manager's ability to locate boundaries in windfirm locations. Pre-harvest windthrow assessment procedures and new techniques such as feathering and topping/top-pruning have been developed to assist managers.

Click here to view Lesson 1 in a printable format or to save for offline review.

Click here to view Lesson 1 Background information.

Forest Service BC
Forest Renewal BC