The Kootenay Boundary Higher Level Plan Order (KBHLPO) requires that old and mature forest is retained to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. The amount of old and mature forest (seral distribution) is specified in the Order for each biogeoclimatic (BEC) variant. These seral targets are required to be maintained within each landscape unit (LU) /BEC variant. The Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM)1 has developed draft old growth management areas (OGMAs) for TFL 23 following procedures from the Landscape Unit Planning Guide. Selection criteria used for the draft OGMAs include stand age and seral targets (LU and BEC zone area targets).
In 2006 Pope & Talbot (now INTERFOR) contracted Timberline Natural Resource Group (Timberline) to evaluate and provide alternatives for OGMAs considering economic return, location, and other landbase values that have traditionally been considered such as caribou habitat, visual quality objectives (VQOs), community watersheds (CWS), ungulate winter range (UWR) etc. Various data layers have changed since then that have a direct impact upon the OGMA coverage. These layers include:
? New caribou habitat coverage;
? British Columbia Timber Sales (BCTS) take back area;
? TFL 23 boundary; and
? Wildlife habitat areas (WHAs).
In this analysis, increased emphasis will be placed on the following resource issues compared to the 2006 project:
? Updated caribou zones will have a greater weight;
? Heavier emphasis on ageclass 8 and 9 to reduce recruitment from ageclasses 6 and 7;
? Utilize WHA?s;
? Heavier emphasis on hemlock leading stands; and
? Maintain LU-BEC subzone distribution.