Tolko Industries Ltd. (Tolko) retained Summit Environmental Consultants Ltd. (Summit) to complete a watershed assessment of the Baker Creek watershed, west of Quesnel, B.C. Local stakeholders have identified concerns in the watershed including potential changes in timing and intensities of peak flows and increases in sedimentation and erosion along the creeks. Coinciding with these potential changes to Baker Creek watershed, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) mortality due to the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) (Dendroctonus ponderosae) have reached epidemic numbers. It is estimated that MPB mortality has affected roughly 80% of the mature pine stands that cover approximately 70% of the watershed (Eng et al., 2005). In general, large-scale beetle-kill has the potential to affect many hydrological processes (MacDonald and Stednick, 2003). Unfortunately, these effects with or without the potential impacts of salvage harvesting are not clearly known (Maloney, 2005. Uunila et al., 2006) and are currently topics of active research. In the meantime, forest managers, forest licensees and other stakeholders are keen to know the potential impacts and options to mitigate the impacts from beetle-kill and proposed forest development on watershed values. Utilizing a combination of the existing knowledge base on forest hydrology, natural disturbance, hydrologic modelling, and geographic information systems (GIS), along with professional experience and judgement, this study addresses the potential beetle-kill and development impacts in the Baker Creek watershed. As outlined in Summit?s January 31, 2006 work plan, the watershed assessment was organized into two phases to accomplish the above objectives. Phase 1 included the following specific tasks: 1. Start-up meeting; 2. Stakeholder meeting; 3. Information compilation and review; 4. Aerial photo review; 5. Preliminary mapping; and 6. Field planning and interim reporting.
prepared by Summit Environmental Consultants Ltd.