In 1999, the Prince George Forest District implemented a local policy to address resource agencies? concerns regarding riparian harvesting near S4 streams (<1.5 m bankfull width and classified as fish-bearing). The S4 policy focused on maintaining 50 ? 75% of natural stream shading, adequate short and long term supplies of large woody debris, stream bank root structure, and preventing mineral and organic fines from reaching the stream channel. The policy was implemented using an 'adaptive management' approach. Adaptive management is an 'approach for learning from our actions, improving management and accommodating change.' The approach will follow each step of the policy, and allow for objectives and actions to be adjusted to reflect new information and to achieve desired outcomes. In May of 2001, a co-operative field project was initiated to determine if the policy was maintaining the necessary ecological attributes for healthy fish habitat. The project was designed to quantify the temporal, geographic and among stream natural variations in late summer/fall temperatures, detailed channel morphometrics and substrate descriptions, erosion sources, litterfall, shade, benthic invertebrates, periphyton biomass, water chemistry, nutrients, woody debris and the downstream export of organic material and invertebrate drift. The 2001 field season involved identifying eight S4 streams in three geographically distinct forest types for baseline data collection. Each forest type contained two to four streams with riparian areas scheduled for harvesting over the next two years. Stream reaches of fifty metres in length were monitored within proposed cutblocks (treatment reaches) and outside of any proposed harvesting (control reach). Each proposed harvesting unit had at least one study reach and a paired control either upstream, or in a nearby adjacent stream, consistent with the Before-After-Control-Impact-Paired (BACIP) study design. Detailed monitoring began in 2002. The field season allowed for the first full pre-harvest sampling period from spring melt to freeze ? up. This phase of the project was designed to identify specific knowledge gaps in the management of small fish-bearing and headwater streams. Harvesting of the cutblocks began in 2003. Harvesting was completed at the Bowron site in December 2002, at the Chuchinka site in July 2004 and at one of the Tagai site?s in March 2004 and the other in July 2004. Post harvest data collection for the Bowron block began in May of 2003, August 2003 for the Chuchinka, and April 2004 and September 2004 for the Tagai sites.
John Rex, Pierre Beaudry, Erland MacIsaac.
Rex, John F.. 2006. The effects of riparian harvesting on fish habitat and ecology of small headwater streams: 2005/2006 year end report. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2006MR281