Initiatives resulting from the Kyoto Protocol, the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers Criteria and Indicators (adopted from the Montreal Process), and forest certification have created forest carbon management objectives as part of sustainable forest management. In consideration of these developments and in light of commitments made within SFM plans within the Invermere TSA the following project has been undertaken. For this project (Phase II) a timber supply model, Forest Simulation and Optimization System (FSOS) along with two models capable of projecting forest ecosystem carbon dynamics, the Carbon Budget Model-Canadian Forest Service 3 (CBM-CFS3), and FORECAST were used to estimate total ecosystem carbon storage and sequestration rates for the Invermere TSA. Current forest inventory data and management assumptions were applied to both models.
The results of the project provide initial estimates of the current ecosystem carbon (including soil) conditions in the Invermere TSA in the crown forest land base ranging from 105.6 MT to 146.7 MT for the FORECAST and CBM-CFS3 models and under the base case scenario, with a range of 96.6 MT and 106.2 MT and 139.6 MT and 147.2 MT, respectively over the forecast horizon. The sequestration rate in the base case fluctuates between a net loss of 0.1 MT C/year and a positive sequestration of 0.05 MT C/year for the CBM-CFS3 and 0.01 MT C/year and 0.1 MT C/year for FORECAST. Part of the objectives for this project was to investigate carbon storage within forest products produced from the Invermere TSA. A preliminary analysis of carbon storage in forest products (excluding emissions from harvesting, milling and transportation) show a maximum storage potential up to 11.9 MT based on the estimated product distribution as applied to the base case harvest levels and released using documented half life equations. Through an understanding of forest carbon dynamics, current management practices and impacts of harvesting and natural disturbance on the total ecosystem carbon, forest managers can begin to establish forest carbon objectives regarding targets, variance and the development of a suitable monitoring plan. Carbon objectives within the Invermere TSA refer to sustain forest carbon storage and sequestration contributions to the global carbon cycle. The purpose of the report is not to provide specific carbon measures and targets but to present appropriate information for the Invermere licensees to consider in setting such carbon measures. Important considerations include the definition of the carbon pools to include; the area (e.g. The timber harvesting land base and/or the nonharvestable land base) to include; and the relevant indicators, targets and expected variance that may occur. Unit level carbon targets may be established based on the current, the minimum or average carbon conditions experienced over a 250 year forecast horizon.
As part of continuous improvement and in developing a monitoring plan, it will be important in the future to incorporate and apply existing field data for forest carbon iii estimation. An initial recommendation for the Invermere TSA is to ensure that the most up to date information pertaining to forest inventory (i.e. Species, age, site productivity and volume data as well as non-productive areas including wetlands) and areas in forest depletions due to human causes (e.g. Oil and gas activities, forestry activities, conversion of forest to agriculture and urban areas) and natural disturbances (e.g. The partial or full loss of forests in disturbed areas) are maintained.