Forest harvesting in the range of the endangered Mountain Caribou is a major management concern. Under the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan, Mountain Caribou range in the Quesnel Highland has been zoned into 'no harvest' and 'modified harvest' areas. 'Modified harvest' areas are to be managed to maintain caribou habitat continuously through time and space through use of the group selection silvicultural system, with 33% timber removal every 80 years (CCLUP Caribou Strategy Committee 2000). Detailed recommendations for this approach to harvesting were given by Stevenson et al. (2001). The effects of selection harvesting on caribou habitat and other resource values in the Interior Cedar-Hemlock Zone are not well known. To begin addressing the needs for operational experience and for information on response of key environmental variables, the Research Section in the Southern Interior Forest Region, West Fraser Mills Ltd., and the University of Northern British Columbia have begun a pilot trial at Isaiah Creek, in the Quesnel Highland. The objectives of the Isaiah Creek project are to document pre-harvest and immediate post-harvest stand structure, wildlife tree occurrence, and coarse woody debris; to measure the response of arboreal lichens to partial cutting; to monitor regeneration development in the openings; to monitor vegetation response to partial cutting; and to monitor windthrow related to harvesting. A basic microclimate station will be established to assist in interpretation of the results.
Prepared by Susan K. Stevenson and Harold Armleder.
Stevenson, Susan K., Armleder, Harold M.. 2007. Group selection in low elevation mountain caribou habitat in the Quesnel Highland: Isaiah Creek project progress report 2006/07. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2007MR050