Landscape Unit Planning. Basic geographical units for planning or adapting to large-scale ecosystem processes. Two fundamental components: old growth management areas, and early seral patch sizes.
1. Legislation and policy
2. Land Use Designations (ie. parks, working forest)
3. Resource Management Planning (landscape unit)
4. Operational Planning (ie. site plans)
(Forest Stewardship Plans are really just detailed tenure documents which touch on all of the above levels)
For Immediate ReleaseDecember 6, 2000
Board Releases Review of BC's Forest Planning
Victoria -Fundamental changes to the way forest development is planned in B.C. are recommended in a report released today by the Forest Practices Board. The report concludes the board's provincewide review of the forest development planning process. Forest development plans are prepared by individual forest companies and the Ministry of Forests' Small Business Forest Enterprise Program.
The board is recommending that government develop plans to manage a full range of forest resources at the "landscape" or "watershed" level, rather than at the cutblock level.
"These plans would provide strategies and measures for protecting all forest resources in the area of the plan," said board Chair Bill Cafferata. "The public would have to be consulted in development of the landscape unit plans, and would have the opportunity to comment on the objectives for the full range of forest resources including timber, water, fish, wildlife, and recreation.“
"Once these landscape unit plans are in place, foresters will not have to 'reinvent the wheel' every time they prepare a forest development plan. They can focus on proposing roads and cutblocks that meet the strategies and measures already agreed to in the landscape unit plan," said Cafferata.
1998: Chief Forester direction to consider ecological representation of old growth only to the subzone/variant level.
So, we documented our approach, sent it upstairs, and waited for an answer.
KOOTENAY LAKE FOREST DISTRICT
Dale Anderson, Planning Officer
Mike Knapik, Forest Ecosystem Specialist
October 15, 1998
Out of 86 landscape unit/ecological subzone units in the Kootenay Lake Forest District, 73 presently fall short of old growth forest targets as per Biodiversity Guidebook. In order for harvesting to continue in the short term, it is necessary to develop a recruitment strategy which will allow old growth targets to be achieved over time.
Management of old growth forests has been a major issue in KLFD for well over ten years. A District study in 1994 confirmed that certain types of old growth forest (large contiguous valley-bottom types) were disappearing rapidly due to the fragmentation pattern of forest development which was occurring in the absence of an overall landscape-level strategy. This development pattern also implied higher development costs and reduced timber availability (as noted in the Timber Supply Review process of 1994-95); therefore it became a priority for KLFD to address the issue.
Work began in September of 1995, and the process has evolved considerably since then. The importance of an objective, attribute-based old growth patch inventory is now clear (Appendix I). In 1997, nine landscape units were inventoried in this manner by contract biologists, and licensees were instructed to avoid placing new development proposals in certain of the "old seral patches" which had been identified. This allowed development to be approved in other portions of these landscape units. This report includes a summary and update of landscape units which had previously been inventoried.
Area (hectares of Crown forest)
Age class distribution (within patch)
Tree species composition
Base elevation (or elevation range)
Slope (or slope range)
Slope position (toe, mid, upper)
Presence of snags/dead tops
Coarse woody debris
Proportion of patch in riparian area
Proportion of patch in interior habitat
Forested connectivity with rest of LU
Lichen loading (in caribou habitat)
Known critical habitats/features
ESSFwc4 (Target 1941 ha):
Age Class 9 NC: 37
Age Class 9 THLB: 200
Age Class 8 NC: 3381 (1704 required to reach target)
THLB budget: 200 hectares (2.0%)
ICHdw (Target 419 ha):
Age Class 8+ NC: 52
Age Class 8+ THLB: 23
Age Class 7 NC: 0
Age Class 7 THLB: 0
Age Class 6 NC: 142
Age Class 6 THLB: 60
Age Class 5 NC: 242 (142 required to reach target)
THLB budget: 83 hectares (7.1%)
Old Growth Patch Inventory
December 21, 2000
K07 comprises the Midge Creek, Wilson, and Heather Creek watersheds and the areas draining into the South Arm of Kootenay Lake from Irvine Creek to about 3 km south of the mouth of Midge Creek. The topography is steep with most drainages being deeply incised V-shaped valleys. Only in the upper reaches of Kutetl Creek is there an extensive area of subdued terrain. Riparian areas are generally very narrow apart from one area along Midge Creek near the confluence with Seeman Creek. Soils over much of the area are either very coarse or shallow. Very significant portions of the LU burned in 1940 and 1967, with large areas of the 1967 burn along the lake being dominated by brush fields. The only licensee operating in the LU is J.H. Huscroft Ltd. About 1/5 of the LU is comprised of the West Arm Wilderness Provincial Park, while about 1/3 is within the Taxation Tree Farm of Pluto Darkwoods Ltd. A Wildlife Management Area has been designated over the southeast portion; management objectives are focused on ungulates and grizzly bear . A tiny portion of K07 includes KBLUP mountain caribou habitat, but this is not considered significant (target of 96 ha). The Biodiversity Emphasis for K07 is Intermediate for the ESSFwc and ICHmw2 and Low for the ICHdw. Target hectares for old growth forest within K07 are as follows
SubzoneTarget Ha. Deficit/Surplus
ESSFwc (>250 yrs) 835 -693
ICHmw2(>250 yrs) 517 -408
ICHdw (>140 yrs) 313 -213
TOTAL OSPs: approximate area
Subzone Area>80 yr
Subzone Ha.>80 yr
This patch runs from the lakeshore to about 1450 m. It consists of steep rocky faces with deeper soils on some of the more moderate slopes and in small moist draws between the rock outcrops. Slopes range from about 40 to 80%. Aspect is generally east. The major tree species found are Douglas-fir and larch, with minor amounts of lodgepole pine and deciduous in the ICHdw and Fd, Cw, (Lw) in the ICHmw2. There are significant amounts of Pl in the southern portion of the ICHmw2. Dense cedar regeneration can be seen in the deep soil areas of the area mapped as Age class 8 in the ICHdw. Cw and Hw regeneration is widespread in the ICHmw2. Most trees are likely under 25m tall. Vets and snags are largely absent except for the age class 8 (these appear associated with root rot centres), where there are also a few larch vets in the ICHdw. In the ICHmw2, there are few vets and moderate amounts of snags and coarse woody debris. Broken tops are low. Crown closure ranged from about 40 to 60% in the ICHdw and 60 to 70% in the ICHmw2, with about 80% of the forested area in closed canopy with the rest in patches of regen or open deciduous. The lakeshore is rocky with little riparian influence. The range of site series is narrow, almost exclusively drier than mesic in the ICHdw, likely more mesic sites in the ICHmw2. The age class mapping looked reasonable apart from the fact that the are just to the north of the patch that is mapped Age class 5 looks quite similar to the area mapped age class 7(ICHdw). In the ICHmw2, age class looked like 6 or 7 but there were about 15% of the area with patches that looked younger. The size of this patch was increased to include the area in the ICHdw to the northern LU boundary. This would then provide some connectivity to the age class 7 stands up Irvine Creek in the adjoining LU. As well, structural features in the area added (Forest cover age class 5 largely) were equivalent to areas in the southern portion of this OSP. Coarse woody debris is low in the ICHdw and moderate in the ICHmw2. According to current operability lines, forest in 07-1 is 100% operable LU connectivity low to moderate, runs from lakeshore to ESSF. Interior condition is low due to the interspersion of rock outcrops in the ICHdw and moderate in the ICHmw2. Site productivity would be generally low for the ICHdw and moderate for the ICHmw2. No major forest health problems were noted – minor Armillaria possible. No roads or harvesting is found. The railway runs along the lakeshore. Special features include rock outcrops, lakeshore, and pictographs. A portion of this OSP was suggested as a candidate by J.H. Huscroft Ltd.
Initial old growth ranking: High.
Probably the best candidate for capturing old ICHdw in this LU. Some reasonable attributes in the ICHmw2 but patchy.
Early Seral Patch Analysis
The term "patch" can be used in a number of contexts - silvicultural system, landscape planning, etc. In Kootenay Lake District, the main "patch" issue revolves around determining the existing early seral patch size distribution within a landscape unit's BEC subzone/variant.
This "early seral patch analysis" (ESPA) has been necessary in order to implement a range of harvest patch sizes (as per Biodiversity Guidebook and Landscape Unit Planning Guide). For most of our LU's/variants, the size ranges are 0-40 hectares, 40-80 hectares, and 80-250 hectares. Once you know the percentage of your early seral area in each category, you have an idea of which size ranges are below targets and therefore a rationale for approving harvest units in that size range.
A standardized approach is unnecessary, provided basic principles are followed, such as that of “best available information” and collaboration in shared landscape units. Generally, an ESPA will be conducted by whichever licensee is proposing a cutblock greater than 40 hectares.
A suggested starting point is to obtain the last ESPA conducted for the landscape unit. A map should be generated which clearly identifies the Crown forested landbase (including parks) and the existing early seral patches. This is then examined by the assessor who decides whether openings should be considered separate, or part of a larger patch.
The final products are an updated early seral patch map which shows the patches and their size categories, and a report which provides documentation of methodology and rationale for choices made. The report typically includes the existing early seral patch size distribution figures, and also those which are expected upon completion of the development in question.
The ESPA should be broken down by BEC subzone/variant rather than by NDT. At the present time, landscape planning in KLFD is based on old BEC linework.