There is concern that the accelerated timber harvest in the MPB epidemic area could compromise long-term forest productivity if soils are unduly disturbed. The Soil Team of the BC Ministry of Forests and Range has worked with the Forest Practices Branch to develop ground and image based methods to assess soil disturbance as part of the Soil Resource Stewardship Monitoring of the FRPA Resource Evaluation Program or FREP. Although this FREP protocol uses aerial imagery, the Ministry is also collecting beetle imagery. To determine whether existing beetle or other corporate imagery could be used to assess the extent of soil disturbance in the MPB salvage area, we evaluated images of recent MPB salvage cutblocks from the Vanderhoof, Mackenzie, Rocky Mountain, Prince George, 100 Mile House, Central Cariboo, and Chilcotin Districts. For this evaluation, we used a combination of ground-based and imagery-based assessment as developed for FREP. We determined that low-resolution data would be sufficient for detecting and measuring the extent of roads and landings. Areas occupied by landslides, erosion, drainage diversion, inordinate disturbance or roadside work areas can be captured on remotely-sensed images with spatial resolution greater then 2.5 m. However, based on this review and previous work, aerial photographs are best-suited to describe and accurately assess the less evident harvesting-related soil disturbance.
Stephane Dubé, Bill Chapman, and Shannon Berch.
Dubé, Stephane, Chapman, Bill K.; Berch, Shannon M.. 2006. Monitoring soil disturbance on harvested areas within the mountain pine beetle infestation. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report