Under the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan, mountain caribou are considered a key management species and under the federal Species at Risk Act they are designated as threatened. The purpose of this long-term project, established in 1990, is to develop and test group selection silvicultural systems to maintain mountain caribou habitat. The main goal is to retain arboreal forage lichens, while extracting timber, achieving acceptable regeneration (planted and natural), maintaining biodiversity (plants, birds, small mammals) and assessing implications to peak streamflow. Continued research is required to provide a sound scientific basis for the ?modified harvesting options? under the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan (1995) as it affects over 53,000 ha of critical wintering habitat. The various components of this project continue to address the needs identified in ?Mountain Caribou in Managed Forests: Recommendations to Managers? by Stevenson et al. (2001) and ?Toward a Mountain Caribou management strategy for British Columbia? by Paquet (1997). Specific objectives are to determine the impact of alternative silvicultural systems on: the abundance of arboreal forage lichens, and their relationship with old growth forest characteristics, the potential for natural regeneration, the performance of planted seedlings, ? peak snow accumulation, melt rate, and snow-free dates, wildlife diversity, particularly breeding birds and small mammals, stand stability through windthrow studies, and as required - forest health, particularly the incidence of balsam bark beetle, spruce bark beetle and two cycle spruce budworm.
Waterhouse, Michaela J., Armleder, Harold M.; Newsome, Teresa A.; Teti, Patrick. 2006. Group selection silvicultural systems to maintain caribou habitat in high elevation forests (ESSFwc3) in central BC. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2006MR278