Soil Conservation Surveys Guidebook
Table of contents
4 Survey methods
Information needed from the approved plan
Information from the silviculture prescription,
stand management prescription, or site plan can be recorded on a Soil Disturbance
Summary form (FS 889 in Appendix 6) for reference
when assessing soil impacts.
||The purpose of a soil conservation
survey is to determine whether the standards in the approved plan (silviculture
prescription, stand management prescription, or site plan) have been adhered
to. Check the approved plan to determine the following2:
- the date the plan was approved and,
in some cases, when it was submitted for approval.
|Note that if the prescription
was submitted before June 15, 1998 but approved after this date, it must
adhere to the rules in place prior to the June 15, 1998 legislation and
- which access structures are permanent,
and the approved maximum allowable limits for these structures;
|Although not a requirement,
worksheets used for calculating road occupancy from road layout and design
standards may sometimes accompany the prescription. These worksheets can
be useful for comparing proposed and constructed dimensions;
- which access structures are temporary,
by how much maximum soil disturbance limits can be temporarily exceeded
to construct temporary access structures, and, if required, the
maximum allowable limits for temporary access structures;
- which excavated or bladed trails and
other temporary access structures have to be rehabilitated, the maximum
time to complete rehabilitation following the completion of harvesting,
and, if required, the methods for rehabilitation;
- whether fill slopes are considered
favourable or unfavourable growing media (this information is optional
for prescriptions, but is useful to know when measuring haul roads
and unrehabilitated excavated or bladed trails);
- whether fill slopes adjacent to permanent
roads will not be reforested to improve visibility or to facilitate
- what maximum allowable level of soil
disturbance has been approved for each standards unit;
- what maximum allowable level of
forest floor displacement has been approved for each standards unit
- whether roadside work areas may be
surveyed separately from adjacent portions of a cutblock;
- the minimum area to which maximum
soil disturbance limits should be applied (see section on "Survey
methods for soil disturbance-Site stratification"); and
- the hazards assessed for soil compaction,
soil erosion, soil displacement, and, if required, forest floor
displacement and mass wasting (Interior sites), as well as the
likelihood of landslides if a terrain assessment has been carried
out (this information is used to determine which soil disturbance
categories to count in each standards unit).
A visual inspection is the first level of assessment
and can be as simple as a walk-through of the area. It is recommended that the
method of inspection and any findings are documented. The back of the Soil Disturbance
Summary form (FS 889 in Appendix 6)
can be used to make notes and map any areas requiring a further ground check
(e.g., such areas as unauthorized temporary access structures or heavily disturbed
roadside work areas).
During the visual inspection:
- Verify the location of permanent and temporary
access structures, and check whether road widths and landing sizes appear
to be excessive or not.
- Look at temporary access structures to determine
whether the required rehabilitation has been completed.
- Classify several points within each of the
disturbance types present in the NAR (this may involve digging with a shovel
to assess compaction and measuring the dimensions of the disturbance).
- Compare the observed disturbance types with
the soil disturbance categories that will count on that block.
- Determine whether the disturbance types (see
Appendix 7) and levels observed are allowed
under the approved plan.
- Identify areas that appear to have excessive
- Decide whether a transect survey is warranted.
- If after an initial visual assessment
it appears that disturbance levels may be high, a quick informal survey using
a "pacing" method can be useful in getting a rough estimate of disturbance
levels. This "ballpark" estimate may help when deciding whether
or not a formal survey is warranted.
- Determine whether a survey should be done
for an entire standards unit or a stratified portion of a standards unit (see
section on "Survey methods for soil disturbance-Site stratification").
that the information in italics is no longer a requiremenrt for prescriptions
submitted and approved on or after June 15, 1998