Review of Forest Practices Adjacent to Streams Under the Forest Practices Code in the Cariboo Forest Region
A region-wide review of current forest management practices adjacent to streams was conducted in late summer of 1997 at the request of the Cariboo Forest Region Regional Management Team. The purpose of this review was:
- meeting legislated requirements,
- riparian management area objectives and "best management practices" as described in the Riparian Management Area guidebook, and
- approved plans and permits.
The review considered only current practices; that is, those based on a silviculture prescription approved after December 15, 1995. These practices are required to be in full compliance with the Forest Practices Code. The review included logging and basic silviculture practices as well as road construction and deactivation. The review did not focus on wetlands or lakes and did not include range and intensive silviculture practices.
The review was based on a random selection of cutblocks from each of three categories: those with fish streams (S1 - S4 riparian classes), those with nonfish streams (S5 and S6 riparian classes) only, and those with no identified streams. Seventy-nine blocks were included in the review, distributed approximately equally among the three categories.
Overall compliance with Forest Practices Code regulations and guidelines for riparian areas in the Cariboo Forest Region is high. Only two streams, a small S6 stream and a small default S4 stream, were not identified and classified on a silviculture prescription and only one case of unapproved timber harvesting within the regulation reserve zone was observed. Practices adjacent to the two unidentified streams were consistent with Code regulations and "best management practices". The one case of harvesting within a regulation reserve zone was adjacent to a wetland.
Riparian classification of watercourses in the Cariboo Forest Region has been conservative. Although three watercourses were under-classified (given a classification less constraining to harvesting), a much larger number were over-classified. Of the 42 watercourses classified as S4 or S6 streams on a silviculture prescription, more than half (24) are not streams under the current definition of a stream in Code regulations. They would also not be streams under the anticipated revised definition of a stream in Code regulations.
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