In 1995, the government of British Columbia adopted the Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel’s Recommendations. These recommendations were an innovative approach to forest management that prioritized local First Nations perspectives and introduced concepts such as ecosystem-management, variable-retention silviculture systems, watershed level planning, and adaptive management. Clayoquot Sound became a leader in sustainable forestry operations and is guided by sound ecosystem science that incorporates traditional knowledge and present-day values.
Central Westcoast Forest Society, with the support of local First Nations, the community, the forest licensees, and other non-profit organizations in the region, is working to develop a Clayoquot Sound Monitoring Program. The monitoring initiative will focus on watershed health and biodiversity. It is based on the principals of the Scientific Panel Recommendations and is designed facilitate an adaptive management system that allows feedback between monitoring and decisions. Monitoring is the tool needed to ensure forestry practices in Clayoquot Sound remain innovative and sustainable.
The monitoring program began in the fall of 2011. CWFS biologists, field technicians, and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks guardians set up 16 permanent sample plots in the Kennedy Flats Watershed. At each plot, stand structure, coarse woody debris, snag abundance, canopy closure, and understory light conditions were measured. The information was collected using a province wide standard and methodology that is used by the Forest and Range Evaluation Program (FREP). Using a provincial standard will allow us to compare and learn from different management practices outside of Clayoquot Sound.