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Coarse Woody Debris in the East Kootenays: Understanding Sources and Dynamics to Guide Targets for Sustainable Forest Management
Cochrane, Jared D. (Jed)
Ecosystem management aims to conserve biodiversity and maintain ecosystem function while sustaining renewable resources. To achieve these goals, patterns of variation resulting from natural disturbances can be used to guide management. The premise of this approach is that management that maintains historic forest structures and functions will maintain the habitat suitable for the biota adapted to the ecosystem. Based on literature reviews, field research, and modelling, Tembec and Canadian Forest Products (Canfor) have been developing criteria and indicators for sustaining biodiversity of the managed forests of the East Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia. Specific indicators include important habitat elements, such as snags, logs, large live trees, and stand structure classes. Preliminary targets for these indicators provide recommendations such as snag densities and volumes of logs to be maintained in managed stands. However, current targets may not represent the historical range of variation for these attributes. Many of the dry forests on southern British Columbia have been subject to substantive human impacts during the past century, including widespread fires associated with mining and logging at the end of the 19th century followed by fire exclusion, indirectly due to land use that has altered forest fuels and directly due to active fire suppression. The resulting contemporary forests may lie outside the range of historic variation and targets based on current composition and structures may not be appropriate or achievable over the long term. To be sustainable and achievable on the ground, targets for indicators of biodiversity must include a measure of the historic range of variability and measures of departure from this range.
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Ask your neighbour: a tale of two plots...
Historical Fire Regime of the East Kootenays: 1540 to 2005
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