Although old forest in British Columbia has been identified at a provincial level using broad age criteria, there is no method to differentiate degrees of quality within old forest stands. To enable more effective management of high quality old forest, this project was initiated to develop a system to assess and rank old forest by its relative quality in the Prince George Forest District. Attributes and indicators of old forest quality were compiled from the literature and from input by the members of the public and experts in the field. Each indicator was classified as an intrinsic (defining) or additive (adding quality). Standard criteria were used to assess each indicator, and a ranking system applied to each indicator selected during the assessment process. This ranking system was used to map old forest polygons in the Prince George Forest District. Seven intrinsic indicators of old forest quality were selected: Road Density, Patch Area, Edge Effects, Patch Core/Interior Area, Stand Age, Tree Species and Tree Volume. Five additional additive indicators were also selected (Protected Areas, High Quality Ungulate Winter Range, Caribou Habitat, Red and Blue Listed Species Occurrences and Red and Blue Listed Plant Communities Occurrences, and Ecosystem Representation). These indicators were used to generate a rank for each forest cover polygon in the Prince George Forest District. The framework detailed in this report is a cost-effective approach that has the flexibility to incorporate other intrinsic and additive indicators and be applied to other areas. Application to other areas, however, must be done with an awareness of the appropriate scale and ecological definition of old forest in that area. Finally, five recommendations are offered to provide guidance in the improvement, use and application of this framework in ranking old forest quality in forested landscapes.
final report prepared by Manning, Cooper and Associates Ltd.
Manning, Cooper and Associates Ltd.. 2007. Old forest quality indicators and ranking for the Prince George forest district. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), Old, Growth, Forests, British, Columbia
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