[Spacing Guidebook Table of Contents]

Introduction

Purpose

This guidebook is intended to assist forestry practitioners to meet the requirements of the Forest Practices Code with respect to spacing.

Guidelines are enclosed in text boxes throughout this guidebook. Guidelines cover stand ranking and selection criteria, methods of spacing, fire protection considerations, the maintainence of biodiversity, and post-treatment stand densities. Spacing is also known as juvenile spacing or pre-commercial thinning.

For further information on the subjects addressed in this guide refer to the references listed in Appendix 2 or contact the B.C. Ministry of Forests.

Impacts of spacing

Spacing is the cutting of undesirable trees within a young stand to reduce competition among the residual trees for water, nutrients, and sunlight. The cut trees are usually not removed from the site. Spacing is done to: Typically the effects of reducing stand density are:

Authority

Operational Planning Regulation

Spacing: pre-free growing

"Stocking requirements" means

(a) for clearcutting, patch cutting and group selection, group shelterwood, group seed tree, and clearcutting with group reserves,

(i) the preferred and acceptable species of trees,
(ii) the minimum allowable horizontal distance between trees of the preferred and acceptable species required for the trees to be considered to be well spaced,
(iii) the target number of healthy, well spaced trees of the preferred and acceptable species per hectare,
(iv) the minimum number of healthy, well spaced trees of the preferred and acceptable species required per hectare,
(v) the minimum number of healthy, well spaced trees of the preferred species required per hectare,
(vi) the maximum number of coniferous trees allowed per hectare,
(vii) the maximum and minimum number of healthy, well spaced coniferous trees allowed per hectare after a spacing treatment has been carried out under section 70 (4) (f) of the Act, and
(viii) the required standards that must be met by a healthy, well spaced tree of a preferred or acceptable species at free growing, including

(A) the minimum height,
(B) the height of the tree relative to competing vegetation within a radius of one metre of the tree trunk, and
(C) any other similar requirements imposed by the district manager,

(b) for even-aged partial cutting not described in paragraph (a),

(i) all of the requirements referred to in paragraph (a), and
(ii) the stand structure and composition goals, including the planned residual basal area or density per hectare, or

(c) for single tree selection, for

(i) all layers, the preferred and acceptable species of trees,
(ii) the regeneration, sapling and pole layers, the minimum allowable horizontal distance between trees of the preferred and acceptable species required for the trees to be considered to be well spaced,
(iii) all layers, the target number of healthy and well spaced trees of the preferred and acceptable species per hectare,
(iv) all layers, the minimum number of healthy, well spaced trees of the preferred species required per hectare,
(v) all layers, the minimum number of healthy, well spaced trees of the preferred species required per hectare,
(vi) the sapling layer, the maximum number of coniferous trees allowed per hectare,
(vii) the sapling layer, the maximum and minimum number of healthy, well spaced coniferous trees allowed per hectare after a spacing treatment has been carried out under section 70(4)(f) of the Act,
(viii) the planned residual basal area per hectare, the number of trees by each diameter classes on the area, and
(ix) the required standards that must be met by a healthy, well spaced tree of a preferred or acceptable species at free growing, including

(A) the minimum height for the regeneration layer,
(B) the height of the tree relative to competing vegetation within a radius of one metre of the tree trunk for the regeneration layer and the sapling layer, and
(C) any other similar requirements for all layers imposed by the district manager.

Spacing: post-free growing areas

Scope of the stand management prescriptions

A person preparing a stand management prescription must, for the area under the prescription
(a) consider the result of any free growing survey carried out on the area,
(b) ensure that the prescription is adequate to achieve the future stand condition specified in the prescription,
(d) ensure that the prescription is adequate to achieve continued growth of species that are ecologically suited
for the area,
(e) ensure that the prescription facilitates the protection of the soil on the area, and
(f) describe any actions required to achieve known landscape level objectives for stand structure and species composition.

Content of stand management prescriptions

(1) A person preparing a stand management prescription must, for the area under the prescription, ensure that the prescription
(h) If mechanized stand tending treatments are proposed in the stand management prescription, it must then describe

(i) the treatment season
(ii) method of treatment
(iii) the site sensitivity to soil disturbance, and
(iv) the maximum proportion of the area that may be occupied by soil disturbance,

(i) sets out the actions that are proposed to abate fire hazards
(k) sets out the target future stand condition and proposed treatments, including spacing, pruning and fertilizing and the objectives of those values.

For further information on stand management prescriptions (SMP) refer to the Stand Management Prescription Guidebook.

Silviculture Practices Regulation

Spacing and commercial thinning

(1) A person must ensure that sufficient trees remain standing and undamaged to meet the resource management objectives for the area specified in any higher-level plans, if the person carries out
(a) a spacing treatment under a stand management prescription,
(b) a spacing treatment under section 70(4) (f) of the Act, or
(c) a commercial thinning treatment under a silviculture prescription.
(2) Unless otherwise provided in a higher-level plan or a forest development plan, a person who carries out a treatment under subsection (1) (a) or (b) must not fell a tree that
(a) is ecologically suitable for the area based on the biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification specified in the prescription, and
(b) is not a significant competitor with a tree designated as a final crop tree.

Reports

Obligation of major licence holder (Silviculture Prescription)

A holder of a major licence who is required to establish a free growing stand on an area under a silviculture prescription must submit each year to the district manager the following reports:

(c) on April 15, July 31, October 31 and January 15, a report in Form B describing the silviculture activities completed in the harvest area as of the date 2 weeks before the submission date;
(e) on May 15, a report in Form D describing silviculture expenditures during the preceding year ending March 31.

Obligation of woodlot licence holder (Silviculture Prescription)

A holder of a woodlot licence must submit to the district manager, on or before April 30 each year, an annual report in the form required by the chief forester, describing silviculture treatments and timber harvesting activities completed, and results achieved, under the approved silviculture prescription for the previous calendar year.

Obligation of the government (Silviculture Prescription)

(1) If the government is required to establish a free growing stand

(a) the district manager must
(i) keep accurate records of silviculture treatments, and
(ii) beginning in 1996, on or before April 30 each year submit a compliance report for the preceding year ending March 31 to the regional manager, and
(b) beginning in 1996, the regional manager must on or before May 31 each year submit a compliance report to the chief forester.

Obligation of major license holder under stand management prescription

(1) A holder of a major license who carries out a silviculture treatment specified in a stand management prescription must prepare a report that

(a) contains a summary of the silviculture treatments performed on the free growing stand on the area during the period beginning 2 weeks before the last report and ending 2 weeks before the current reportís submission date under subsection (2), and
(b) specifies whether the silviculture treatment was carried out to fulfill the requirements of a management plan or an agreement under the Forest Act.

(2) A person required to prepare a report under subsection (1) must ensure that the report

(a) is signed and sealed by a professional forester, and
(b) is submitted each year to the district manager on April 15, July 31, October 31 and January 15.
(3) The chief forester may specify the form and content of a report under subsection (1)


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