Over the period of three years, we iteratively applied and tested a Bayesian model to predict the location of high-quality winter range for woodland caribou at high elevations in four Recovery Planning Areas located in north-central British Columbia. The resulting area of High-Elevation Winter Range was scrutinized for the potential impact on the Timber Harvesting Land Base and rules derived for systematically reducing the amount of range that could then be considered candidate Ungulate Winter Range under the Government Actions Regulation. HEWR was reduced by 21% to result in 886,103 ha of candidate UWR; 45,284 ha in 28 polygons in the Fort St. James Forest District and 840,819 ha in 130 polygons in the Mackenzie Forest District. We describe this candidate area by ecoregion and ecosection, biogeoclimatic zone and variant, wildlife management unit, and resource management zone. We also indicate the amount of area in guide-outfitter and trapper licenses that would be affected. Caribou and Mountain goat use of candidate UWR area and previously protected HEWR (i.e., parks) accounted for 63% and 69% (respectively) of the relocation observations made during winter when animals were > 1,200 m asl. Most (80%) of the use of high-elevation habitat by these animals was in Alpine Tundra and Subalpine Parkland. By comparison, these habitats made up only 28% of the study area. General Wildlife Measures consistent with recovery planning, are suggested as guidance for management of the candidate UWR.
McNay, R. Scott, Brumovsky, Viktor J.; Sulyma, Randy; Giguere, Line. 2009. Assessment of modeled High Elevation Winter Range. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2009MR065
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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