In general terms, five sequential phases of man?s interaction with the forests of any particular region have been described as: a primeval period when man?s interest in the forest is limited; a time of forest clearance and exploitation; then recognition that the forest requires protection to ensure its survival; followed by the development of sophisticated silvicultural and forest management techniques; and finally forest land management which takes into account all forest users.1,2 This article will examine a period in the development of forestry in British Columbia when the third phase, that of forest protection, assumed prominence both to the government and the lumber industry.
In the current sense, forest protection encompasses all biotic and abiotic agents responsible for injury to or destruction of the forest crop. While agents other than fire may be of equal or greater importance, it has been fire which has received the most attention for the longest period of time. Forest fires, whether of natural or human origin, are highly visible agents of destruction and represent a threat not only to forest cover but to man?s habitations and industries situated in forested environments.
BC Forest Service - Research Division. 1981. Protection as conservation: safeguarding British Columbia's forests from fire, 1874-1921. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Fire, Management, History
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