Northern caribou low-elevation ungulate winter ranges (UWR) were developed for the Mackenzie forest district in 2007 to provide guidance for forestry operations conducted in these important range types. The UWR policy identifies targets for seral stage distributions of stands within sub-management units referred to as terrestrial lichen habitats. The targets were designed to provide a sustainable supply of suitable foraging conditions for caribou; but, details on how the targets should be achieved, or how to monitor the success of policy implementation are limited. A primary activity of this project was to develop a monitoring framework that would help ensure a consistent and repeatable process is in place for subsequent evaluation procedures to follow. Following the guidance expressed in the framework, a geographic information system was used to summarize updated datasets. Outcomes revealed priority areas for conducting UWR restoration treatments. Five terrestrial lichen habitat aggregates were identified as having suitable area to conduct lichen habitat restoration treatments in, of which two were identified as being suitable for prescribed burning of standing forest. Nine of the terrestrial lichen habitat aggregates contained area suitable for restoration treatments to reduce the risk of predation towards caribou. Discrepancies between legislated UWR line work and updated capability mapping were also identified. Forty-one areas should be assessed as either additions or deletions to the existing legislated UWRs. Implementation of UWR policy typically rests with forest licensees, because forestry treatments are generally proposed as restoration treatments; however, due to uncertainties stemming from the mountain pine beetle epidemic, and the need for nonforestry treatments to restore habitat conditions shared responsibility by both licensees and government are required to ensure optimum UWR conditions are achieved.
Sulyma, Randy. 2010. A Framework for the Restoration of Caribou Range in North-central British Columbia. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2010MR149
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), Land, Base, Investment, Program
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