Environmental Monitoring for the Long Beach Substation to Tofino Second Distribution Feeder, 2011/2012
CWFS worked with B.C. Hydro, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Park Guardians, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation to assist in the environmental monitoring of construction work for telephone pole removal and installation along the Pacific Rim Highway.
Monitoring Riparian Restoration: Lessons Learned in Clayoquot Sound
Old-growth riparian forests have been extensively logged and are increasingly the focus of restoration. While there are thousands of restoration initiatives annually, very few are conducted as scientific experiments necessary to develop adaptive management in restoration ecology. Systematic evaluation of restoration prescriptions and effective monitoring measures are needed.
In 2010, CWFS Executive Director Jessica Hutchinson completed a riparian restoration research project in the Kennedy Flats Watershed in Clayoquot Sound. The prescribed riparian treatments were designed to accelerate natural seral stage development by accelerating conifer succession, increasing structural complexity, species diversity and composition. Three vegetation types were evaluated, a post-harvest deciduous-dominated site and conifer-dominated site with high stocking densities, and an intact old-growth cedar-hemlock forest control. Although the short-term responses to the restoration treatments were minimal, important ecological differences between the three habitat types were identified. These evaluations have led to a series of recommendations to improve restoration prescriptions and monitoring programs for each habitat type.
Remeasurement of Kennedy Flats Permanent Regeneration Plots Established in 2003, 2008
In 1995, to ensure forest practices were ecologically sustainable, the Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel recommended replacing clearcuts with variable retention. At the time, there was very limited experience with variable retention systems, including any information on the most effective retention systems, their influence on regeneration, or the extent to which they emulate natural disturbance patterns. Our primary objective is to develop a more accurate portrayal of growth and yield for early stand establishment. Specifically, we wanted to investigate response and comparisons of regeneration between clearcuts and variable retention; such as changes in regeneration species abundance, composition and height class and changes in abundance and height class for planted seedlings.
Further, we wanted to investigate any changes in basal area of the overstorey in the variable retention settings.
Learning by Doing – post treatment responses noted at four BC riparian restoration sites
British Columbia began an ambitious program in the 1990’s to restore fish habitat affected by steep-slope logging and removal of timber from stream edges. Early efforts to restore riparian stands focused on the use of vegetation to stabilize bars and the planting of long-lived conifer trees in stands dominated by early-successional tree species. Soon after, International Forest Products Ltd. and Western Forest Products Ltd. embraced the testing and development of riparian restoration techniques. By using old forests as “ecological templates” it was possible to prescribe silvicultural treatments that mimic the passage of time and more quickly return riparian function. Between 1998 and 2002, these companies completed 12 operational riparian restoration field projects, totaling 348 hectares of treated area along 70 kilometers of fish habitat. This project describes effectiveness monitoring results of the prescribed silvicultural treatments.
Establishment of a Native Seed Industry for the West Coast of British Columbia
Since the 1970’s, the use of native plants has often been suggested as a potential answer to problems associated with revegetation of disturbed areas. However, native seed for large-scale reclamation purposes has neither been available in sufficient quantity, nor at a reasonable price. Thus, from April, 1996 to March, 2001, Forest Renewal British Columbia provided the funding for this long-term applied research program to determine the utility of native Vancouver Island grasses in restoration of disturbed areas, and ultimately provide a source of native grass seed for use on Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland coast.
Monitoring Hemlock Dwarf Mistletoe in Retention Harvested Forests
This project was undertaken to develop a monitoring program for hemlock dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium tsugense, HDM) in West Coast retention-harvested forests. HDM, a common parasite of western hemlock, is an important issue affecting ecosystem management and sustainable development in retention regimes with western hemlock. Retention-harvesting practices create conditions that could exacerbate spread of HDM infestations and severity of growth impacts. Data and models are needed to predict spread and effects of the parasite in retention-harvested areas, but these are lacking or require further development. Monitoring data are needed to initialize conditions for models and to provide a basis for certification programs for sustainability.
Road Deactivation Effectiveness Monitoring by M. Leslie, W. Warttig and M. Wise
The Lost Shoe – Thunderous Creek/Toquart Bay study areas are located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, ~30 km southeast of Tofino and 55 km southwest of Port Alberni, B.C. The study areas were logged primarily between 1975 and 1985. The Lost Shoe – Thunderous roads were deactivated in 1994, and the roads in Toquart Bay were deactivated in 1995. Objectives of road deactivation were to enhance forest site productivity along the road corridor and to decrease slope instability, thereby minimizing landslides from roads, soil erosion, and sedimentation along the road corridor.
For the eleven sites, the road deactivation work was successful in decreasing slope instability and minimizing erosion at all but three sites. Statistical analysis of the plot data revealed most sites had a good cover of grass with abundant alder growth. Conifer regeneration was more sporadic.