The purpose of this study is to describe how the ecosystems of TFL30 are distributed within non-harvestable areas. Maintaining ecosystem representation in non-harvestable areas is a strategy for protecting the array of species that we have no knowledge of and preserving unmanaged benchmarks for monitoring the ecological effects of human activities. This analysis supports the Sustainable Forest Management and certification initiatives adopted by the licensees taking part in this study Wells and Haag (2006) provided the coarse filter ecosystem groups, in which the site series of the Prince George timber supply area were aggregated based on relative similarities of their indicator plant communities. Using a netdown modified from the timber supply review netdown, the forested land base was divided into the Non-Harvestable Land Base (NHLB) and the Timber Harvesting Land Base (THLB). The proportion of each ecosystem group in the Non-Harvestable Land Base was measured. Other analyses include an assessment of interior NHLB (the amount of the NHLB that is at least 50m from the THLB), representation by Natural Disturbance Unit/merged biogeoclimatic variant, and comparisons of the attributes of the NHLB and THLB (pine leading stands and site index). Companion maps are included with this report that show the spatial distribution of the ecosystem groups and the harvesting constraints of the NHLB. The Non-Harvestable Land Base occupies 15% of the forested land base of TFL30. Of this percentage, 1% occurs in parks, 3% in caribou range, 2% in Riparian Reserve Zones, 3% in sensitive soils and difficult regeneration, and 6% in physically and economically inoperable areas. The results of this study were integrated into a preliminary rating of relative ecological risk associated with ecosystem representation. The risk rating only incorporates measures of the quantity of representation (NHLB representation and ecosystem abundance). Ways of incorporating measures of quality and certainty into the relative risk index are discussed. Ecosystem abundance is an important moderator of ecosystem representation in the determination of relative ecological risk. This report provides a base of information and theory that will help forest managers prioritize their conservation efforts. The development of an ecological risk index is recommended because it would provide a means of integrating ecosystem representation results into a larger Sustainable Forest Management framework by all.
Forest Ecosystem Solutions Ltd., Mahony, Colin. 2006. Ecosystem representation in Tree Farm License #30: final report. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative. Forest Investment Account Report