Bc S Old Growth Forest A Last Stand For Biodiversity-Books Pdf

BC s Old Growth Forest A Last Stand for Biodiversity
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12 Context, 19 Analysis methods, 22 Results, 46 Conclusions. COVER PHOTO JAKOB DULISSE, REPORT DESIGN ERIKA RATHJE. Old forests meld light, and dark their structural, complexity can include large. old living trees large standing, dead snags a multi layered. Current old growth status, Our analysis concludes the following These types of forests match most people s vision.
Summary The provincial total area of old forest 13 2 million. hectares matches our total, of old growth They provide unique habitats. structures and spiritual values associated with, large trees. The vast majority of this forest 80 consists of, Productive old forests are naturally rare in BC. The Province has appointed a task force to small trees. Sites with the potential to grow very large trees, investigate the state of BC s old growth forest 5 3 million hectares have site index 2 5 10m cover less than 3 of the province Old forests. The panel will report to government in April 2020 another 5 3 million hectares have a site index on these sites have dwindled considerably due. 10 15m to intense harvest so that only 2 7 of this 3 is. The old growth task force website1 shows a map of the. Small trees characterize many of BC s natural old currently old see pie chart These ecosystems. old growth forest in BC and says Based on government s. forest types including black spruce bog forests in are effectively the white rhino of old growth. working definition old growth forests comprise about. the northeast subalpine forests at high elevation forests They are almost extinguished and will not. 23 of forested areas or about 13 2 million hectares. and low productivity western redcedar forests on recover from logging. We have written this report because old growth cannot. be portrayed by a single number or map Old forest the outer coast Over 85 of productive forest sites have less than. comes in many forms Large areas of this old forest type remain because 30 of the amount of old expected naturally and. We have used publicly available provincial data and the trees are too small to be worth harvesting nearly half of these ecosystems have less than 1. definitions to examine the status of different types of old under today s prices of the old forest expected naturally This current. forest found across the province in different ecosystems status puts biodiversity ecological integrity and. biogeoclimatic variants and productivity classes These In contrast only a tiny proportion of BC s remaining resilience at high risk today. distinctions matter because while all forms of old growth old forest 3 supports large trees. have inherent value different types provide tremendously 380 000 hectares have a site index 20 25m. different habitat functional cultural spiritual and timber and only 35 000 hectares of old forest have a. values BC s globally rare high productivity forests have site index greater than 25m. particular value for their high biomass structural com. plexity and stable carbon storage, Old Growth Amount by Productivity Class.
SEAN O ROURKE FOR CONSERVATION NORTH, SI 5 10 SI 10 15 SI 15 20 SI 20 25 SI 25. 2 Site index refers to the height of dominant or codominant trees at age 50 it is used as a measure of site productivity and to. estimate tree growth over time For example a site index class of 5 10 means tree seedlings will grow between 5 and 10m tall. in 50 years across the range of sites included in the class similarly a site index of 20 25 means trees are expected to grow. 1 https engage gov bc ca oldgrowth how much old growth is in b c between 20 and 25m tall in 50 years. Old Growth Location Key actions include the following In addition. The transition from old forest harvest is imminent. Immediately stop harvesting the rarest of the rare Without immediate action we will lose these globally. Retain all old forest in any ecosystem with less priceless values and still have to deal with a volume. than 10 old remaining in order to preserve based industry that has not planned ahead for transition. opportunities to implement existing old forest The provincial government must provide funding. targets effectively commitment and management authority to ensure that staff. can implement effective forest conservation Little human. Focus retention on higher productivity sites and, effort is tasked with protecting old forest values while. irreplaceable very old ancient forests, much is focused on harvesting. Where little to no old remains today focus, retention on productive mature stands. particularly in places with a long harvest history. Develop and implement ecologically defensible, targets for old forest e g minimum of 30.
Province s map All but tiny trees SI 10m, Improve implementation to ensure that old forest. retention protects the last remaining productive old. Projected future status forests and protects functional forests for the future. of old growth, Projecting the effect of current policy increases risk to. very high levels for almost all old forest in the province. due to very low targets and the lack of spatial management. in much of the province Only areas where harvesting. cannot occur due to economics will have lower risk than. predicted as these areas may not be harvested down to The details are complex but Reduce risk Immediately. the minimal target levels In most areas with productive. the big picture answers are remove the 2 3 drawdown. forest in BC risk will be higher than predicted in this. to match minimum targets in, analysis due to the current lack of effective implementa easy and clear Immediate. Biodiversity Guidebook, tion of old forest policies. action is needed, Productive sites SI 20 Then revise targets based on.
Conclusions science to lower future risk, and recommendations Stop the bleed Immediately. Current old forest retention targets provide a very low. place a moratorium on logging, Productive old forest has almost vanished across BC bar and implementation pushes effectiveness of old forest Implement intent properly. while large areas of low productivity inaccessible old policy below even this bar Priority actions to stop further in ecosystems and landscapes. Design and revise spatial, forest remain in some forest types Retention of mature loss and increase retention of representative old forest with very little old forest. forest is necessary in many ecosystems particularly those must be taken immediately to reduce risk and maintain OGMAs to capture the best. with long harvest history to recruit old forest for the and restore values into the future. remaining old forest and, future Forest policy in BC relies upon the old forest The report includes a series of detailed recommen. strategy to maintain biodiversity into the future yet dations see main report to prevent the loss of the last ensure they maintain functional. that policy fails to maintain ecosystem diversity thus of the very rare and highly important productive old ecosystems. posing high risk to biodiversity and carbon storage forest and to manage the remainder of the old forest to a. now and higher risk into the future reduced risk level in future JAKOB DULISSE. Forest policy in BC relies, upon the old forest strategy to.
maintain biodiversity into the, future yet that policy fails to. maintain ecosystem diversity, posing high risk to biodiversity. and carbon storage, TAYLOR ROADES, BC s biodiversity depends in large part on old growth Engelmann Spruce Subalpine Fir ESSF and Mountain. forests The structural diversity and long development Hemlock MH forests grow very old but rarely reach the. period of old growth forests drive their ecological impor stature of their lower elevation neighbours On the central. Context tance Forest biodiversity and ecosystem function are. inextricably intertwined Functional ecosystems sustain. viable populations of adapted species in turn natural. interior plateau Sub boreal Spruce SBS forests blanket. the landscape with relatively young forests dotted with. relatively rare old lodgepole pine or spruce stands passed. biodiversity maintains ecosystem function and resilience over by wildfire Climatic variation overlaying landscape. British Columbia s identity relies on its forests Functioning old growth forests deliver ecosystem form drives variation in moisture and temperature within. BC has a world famous coastal temperate rain services valued by people including food water fuel med zones to create BEC variants Combining these diverse. forest an almost unknown globally unique inland icines and timber recreation and tourism opportunities forests into a single old forest statistic hides meaningful. and cultural and spiritual values Old growth is identified ecological patterns and trends. temperate rainforest plus expanses of interior, by First Nations people as valued for traditional resource Old forest can vary as much within single BEC variants. forests as varied as conifer deciduous mosaics use and the ability to harvest old growth trees such as as among different BEC variants driven by differences. JAKOB DULISSE, in the northern boreal ecosystems towering monumental cedar for cultural purposes as well as for in moisture and nutrient availability and defined by site.
Douglas fir and ponderosa pine trees scattered spiritual and other values Large landscapes dominated by series within BEC variants Sites within a single BEC. in open grasslands in the south and rugged a distribution of natural ecosystems including old forests variant can be highly productive growing large trees. mountainous forests Why are old forests also improve the ability to practice treaty and aboriginal quickly or unproductive with small trees growing slowly. rights unencumbered by industrial footprint People world For example on flat benches on eastern Vancouver. Old forests provide cultural social and economic important wide are sustained and nourished by the values found in Island magnificent Douglas firs grew up to 100m tall. values support world renowned biodiversity and store standing old forests And BC s forest industry has operated nearby on rock bluffs tiny skinny trees eke out a living. huge amounts of carbon yet the debate rages about how Forests develop over centuries and millennia shaped on the accumulated capital created over centuries and overlooking the ocean Similarly in northeast BC large. much old forest exists what it looks like and where and by disturbances that leave legacies As they age eco millennia with old forest still being the primary type of white spruce and cottonwoods growing along riparian. how much it should be protected systems change in structure composition and function forest being harvested in this province today corridors differ from the matrix of black spruce muskeg. This report will answer Recently disturbed forests are full of light feeding fast These forests clearly provide different values but are. What types of old forest exist in BC development of herbs and shrubs young naturally often classified within the same BEC variant Even at high. disturbed forests are scattered with legacies from elevations trees can be impressive in size on some sites. How much old forest of each type exists in BC previous forests that add structure In contrast many What types of old and wizened on others Combining these different forests. What types of forest are at highest risk today mid seral and mature forests are dense dark and uniform into a single metric is very misleading. What actions should be a priority to maintain BC s. with little understory those initiated by forest harvesting forest exist in BC. are particularly simple in structure and composition Old. old forest values, forests meld light and dark their structural complexity Old forests vary with climate topography nutrient and. can include large old living trees large standing dead moisture availability disturbance history and age Forest. snags long downed logs a multi layered canopy hori types look and feel very different they function differently. zontal patchiness with canopy gaps that allow understory and provide different habitats and cultural resources. growth and hummocky micro topography The structural At the broadest scale forest ecosystems in BC are. complexity creates myriad habitats that given sufficient defined by biogeoclimatic BEC zones Wet and rich. time support diverse interacting communities of specialists Coastal Western Hemlock CWH and Coastal Douglas. and generalists from a rich soil micro fauna to unique Fir CDF forests on Vancouver Island grow massive trees. canopy communities from berry bushes to devil s club over the millennia between natural disturbances such as. from marten to caribou These complex old growth large fire and windstorms Interior Cedar Hemlock ICH. forests play critical ecological functions in harnessing the forests that form the inland temperate rainforest include a. sun s energy through photosynthesis storing carbon in high diversity of tree species that grow large on produc. large live and dead trees collecting filtering cooling and tive ground Interior Douglas Fir IDF and Ponderosa Pine. transporting water gathering nutrients from the atmo PP forests in the southern interior were once dominated STEPHEN SHARNOFF. sphere e g via epiphytic lichens providing nurse logs by large widely spaced trees growing in meadows. for the next generation of trees and building soil maintained through frequent ground fires High elevation. JAKOB DULISSE, These photos are illustrative of a range. Forests develop over centuries and millennia shaped by disturbances that leave legacies As they age eco systems change in structure composition and function Recently disturbed forests are full of light feeding fast development of herbs and shrubs young naturally disturbed forests are scattered with legacies from previous forests that add structure In contrast many mid seral and

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