The soil conservation provisions in British Columbia's Forest and Range Practices Act are intended to protect the productive and hydrologic capacity of the soil. The Act and regulations are based on best available information and recognize that it may take many years to fully understand the effects of soil disturbance on forest productivity or hydrologic function. Except for obvious losses of productive sites through access development, the Act, regulations, and this process for resource stewardship monitoring and effectiveness evaluation consider site conditions, observable on the ground at the time of completing operations (including soil disturbance) as a proxy for longer-term effects.
Other indicators outlined here, including those related to slope stability, hydrologic function, biological function, and organic matter retention are also considered essential for evaluating the extent to which forest management is consistent with desired results, as expressed by government objectives for soil values (i.e., to maintain soil productivity and hydrologic function).
The method and indicators presented here are suitable for use 1-2 years after harvesting operations are completed. Some indicators of forest productivity, such as site index, have not been included in this protocol because they are more useful after longer time periods.
Research efforts (validation monitoring) are under way to evaluate the linkage between soil disturbance at the time of operations, long-term forest productivity, and hydraulic function.
BC Forest Service - Research Division. 2008. Protocol for soil resource stewardship monitoring: cutblock level. Version 4.0. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Soil, Conservation
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