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Inventory of rare vascular plant species and IWMS plant communities: phases 1 & 2
Timberline Forest Inventory Consultants Ltd.
As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainable forestry, Terminal Forest Products obtained certifications under the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Standard and the Sustainable Forest Initiative Program for its BC Woodlands in 2001. Terminal?s Sustainable Forest Management Plan involves managing for biodiversity indicators which were selected in consultation with local stakeholders. Included among the biodiversity indicators are rare species and plant communities. To manage for rare species, Terminal has developed a field guide and training program to ensure that employees and contractors are able to identify rare species should they encounter them in Terminal?s operating areas. This project builds on previous efforts, with the goal of completing a field inventory of rare vascular plant species and Identified Wildlife Management Strategy (IWMS) plant communities. British Columbia boasts a rich flora of over 3000 species of native vascular plants, ranging from common to rare (Douglas et al. 1998). Some factors that contribute to plant rarity include geographic range, habitat specificity, and local abundance (Rabinowitz 1981). In addition, human activities can contribute to plant rarity through direct effects and habitat loss. Over the past 25 years, the international organization NatureServe (formerly the Nature Conservancy and the Association for Biodiversity Information) has developed methods to rank the conservation status of species. These methods have been adopted at the national level in Canada by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and at the provincial level by the BC Conservation Data Centre (BCCDC). At the national level, the Species at Risk Act was recently enacted to 'prevent Canadian indigenous species, subspecies and distinct populations of wildlife from becoming extirpated or extinct, to provide for the recovery of endangered or threatened species, to encourage the management of other species to prevent them from becoming at risk' (House of Commons Canada 2002). The act establishes COSEWIC as an independent body of experts responsible for assessing and identifying Species at Risk. At the provincial level, the BCCDC systematically collects and disseminates information on the rare and endangered plants, animals and plant communities of British Columbia. This information is compiled and maintained in a computerized database, which provides a centralized and scientific source of information on the status, locations and level of protection of these rare organisms and ecosystems. The BCCDC tracks rare species on Red, Blue, and Yellow lists. The lists are defined as follows: 'The Red list includes species that have been legally designated as Endangered or Threatened under the Wildlife Act [...], are extirpated, or are candidates for such designation. The Blue List includes species not immediately threatened, but of concern because of characteristics that make them particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events. The Yellow List includes uncommon, common, declining and increasing species ? all species not included on the Red or Blue Lists (BCMSRM 2002).' For the purposes of this inventory, Red- and Blue-listed plants are considered rare. Terminal?s operating areas occur within the Sunshine Coast and Squamish forest districts. There are 46 Red- and Blue-listed vascular plant species that are expected to occur within those forest districts (BCMSRM 2003). Identifying rare plant communities requires an integral understanding of concepts of plant communities, rarity, and element occurrences. A plant community is a unit of vegetation with a relatively uniform species composition and physical structure. Plant communities also tend to have characteristic environmental features such as bedrock geology, soil type, topographic position, climate, and energy, nutrient and water cycles (BCCDC 2003). An element occurrence is an area of land and/or water in which a species ...
Report Number
Rare Vascular Plant Species Report - Phases 1 and 2
Rare Vascular Plant Species Report - Maps
Rare Vascular Plant Species Report - Figures, Sampling Plan, and References

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