Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Results:

  • when forest cover was removed from 50% of the area in the logged watersheds at Upper Penticton Creek, increases in water yield were measurable as a result of:

    1. increased snow accumulation (10 – 25%)

    2. increased rainfall reaching the soil surface (30%)

    3. reduced water loss through transpiration and evaporation from the soil surface (15 to 30% of growing season rainfall),

  • although chemical and physical water quality was naturally good, the concentration of Mg, Na, K, N and suspended sediment in stream water increased slightly after logging and road construction, particularly during snowmelt and rain storms,

  • recovery of water quality indicators was rapid (~3 years),

  • aquatic invertebrate abundance and diversity were not adversely affected where stream channels and banks remained relatively undisturbed by logging

Practical applications:

  • consider opportunities to desynchronize snowmelt runoff within watersheds during cutblock layout,

  • identify and avoid potential sediment sources,

  • locate roads to minimise stream crossings,

  • keep logging slash out of creeks, and

  • limit harvesting in riparian zones and areas hydrologically connected to streams