BCs Inland Rainforest Conservation and Community

Conference Proceedings

Group selection in a cedar-hemlock forest: the Isaiah Creek project

Susan Stevenson 1, Harold Armleder 2, Mauro Calabrese 3, Darwyn Coxson 4, Jean Heineman 5, and Eric Phillips 6

The natural landscape of the wetter subzones of the Interior Cedar-Hemlock (ICH) Zone is dominated by old, structurally-diverse forests that support a variety of old growth-associated species, including the threatened mountain caribou. Many such stands are also highly productive, and are an important part of the timber supply for licensees. Group selection harvesting has the potential to maintain some of the ecological attributes of old stands, while realizing economic benefits from timber harvesting. The Isaiah Creek project was initiated to gain operational experience with partial cutting in cedar-hemlock stands, and information on the response of key environmental variables. The objectives include documenting pre-harvest and immediate post-harvest stand structure, wildlife tree occurrence, and coarse woody debris; measuring logging productivity and damage to the residual stand from logging; measuring the response of arboreal lichens; monitoring regeneration development and vegetation response in the openings; and monitoring treefall related to harvesting. The study area, located on Quesnel Lake, BC, includes a 65-ha group selection area, an 8-ha unlogged control area, and a 46-ha clearcut. The group selection treatment is based on 33% removal by area, in openings ranged from 0.3 to 0.9 ha. The site was logged by feller-bunchers and hand-fallers in fall 2006, slash piles were burned in fall 2007, and planting is scheduled for spring 2008. Pre-harvest and immediate post-harvest measurements are complete, and long-term monitoring is planned. The Isaiah project is a partial replicate of similar partial cutting trials in adjacent ICH subzones, and in combination, these trials will provide information that can be used to progressively improve ecosystem-based management in the wet ICH

Contact Information

1 Silvifauna Research, Prince George, BC. Email: sksteven@bcgroup.net

2 Ministry of Forests and Range, Williams Lake, BC

3 West Fraser Mills, Ltd., Williams Lake, BC

4 University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC

5 Heineman Forestry Consulting, Vancouver, BC

6 FPInnovations -- Feric Division, Vancouver, BC

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"Treebeard" (above) is portrayed courtesy of McBride artist Sheilagh Foster.

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