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Lang Creek riparian restoration monitoring surveys Wilson, Christina
Abstract: This report is a summary of observations made to assess the survival of conifer seedlings planted in 2002, the level of brush competition, and the incidence of elk damage. The report also includes an overview summary of the project since its inception, including information collected and summarized by Lunn and Younie (2002). Much of the report is based on information collected by Christina Wilson as part of a paper prepared for a course in ecological restoration at the University of Victoria. The walkthrough reconnaissance surveys and monitoring are required to ensure the successful establishment of these seedlings and assess the need for any follow-up treatments. Monitoring restoration treatments is an essential phase in the adaptive management process, particularly since riparian restoration is relatively new and untested in British Columbia (Lunn and Younie 2002). Lang Creek, located south of Powell River, is one of the most significant fish bearing streams on the Sunshine Coast (Lunn & Younie 2002). This creek is part of the Haslam/Lang Creek watershed and supplies the community of Lang Creek with drinking water. Past logging practices allowed the removal of trees up to the stream banks and in some cases directly across the creek. When forest practices changed, timber harvesting was discontinued along the stream bank and the forest was left to regenerate naturally. Earlier studies by Carson (2000) and GFC Forest Management Ltd. (2001) have shown that the resulting riparian area for Lang creek is a mix of coniferous and deciduous forest, which is dominated by red alder (Alnus rubra) (Figure 1 ? 3). Several concerns were raised by these earlier studies, including forest age class, debris dams, turbidity, and elevated stream temperatures. The age class of the trees is relatively uniform and many of the conifers are being suppressed, especially western red cedars (Thuja plicata). Debris dams were observed in the stream (Figure 4) and were determined by Carson (2000) to be caused by the red alder (Alnus rubra) which is reaching senescence and falling into the creek. Erosion and turbidity have increased and water is being diverted to towards the stream banks. The turbidity levels at the headwaters, Haslam Lake, have been recorded as negligible, yet the levels at the mouth of Lang Creek exceed the drinking water guidelines (Carson 2001). Lang Creek has been designated temperature sensitive due to concerns raised by both fisheries and drinking water managers regarding elevated in-stream temperatures (Haslam Lake and Lang Creek Integrated Watershed Management Planning Team 1999). Stream temperature is therefore being monitored at locations adjacent to the treatment areas. In 2000, funding from Forest Renewal BC was allocated to Weyerhaeuser to complete surveys to assess the potential for restoration treatments in the Riparian Reserve Zone (RRZ) adjacent to Lang Creek. GFC Forest Management Ltd. completed level I and II assessments and treatments were implemented in 2002. The report by Lunn and Younie (2002) represents an ongoing study to monitor the effectiveness of restoration treatments adjacent to Lang Creek.
Wilson, Christina, GFC Forest Management Ltd.. 2004. Lang Creek riparian restoration monitoring surveys. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2004MR026
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Riparian, Areas, British, Columbia, Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), Adaptive, management
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