Forestry and Logging
Chilcotin Holidays supports wildlife habitat improvement through managed logging.
We support the principle to guide all resource management in the Timber Supply Area so that the population size of each species of wildlife can reach the carrying capacity of its habitat.
A silvicultural system is the science behind sustainable, eco-conscious logging, covering all activities from planning, harvesting and replanting to tending to the new trees. Each system is developed to meet the unique needs of each forest site and takes into consideration ecological factors such as forest age, tree species, ecosystems and wildlife habitat.
Two of the most common logging techniques, clearcutting (including patch cutting) and selection can be seen in the Bridge River Valley area. Clearcutting is carried out to mimic large natural disturbances such as fire, wind and insects, whereby most of the trees within a block, strip or patch are removed with small stands or buffers left to protect habitat values.
For decades, this method of logging has been criticised due to the radical changes it causes to the ecosystem of the area, such as dislocating wildlife, and affecting the virility of the soil through over exposure and erosion. However, forest managers and ecologists alike insist that clearcutting rejuvenates areas of forest where natural disturbance is missing due to human interference, and is particularly effective for withering or dead areas of forested land. The clearcut allows the soil to receive full and constant sunlight, producing an excellent habitat for growth of boreal tree species, such as lodgepole pine and Douglas Fir.
The selection system is applied for areas of forests that are unevenly aged, have unstable terrain, for selection of certain tree species or for wildlife habitat like mule deer wintering range. This method involves removal of single scattered individuals or small groups of trees. In the past selective logging was used to remove the largest, highest quality trees from a stand, which often resulted in the remaining stand being overstocked with less valuable trees. Now, selection is based upon ensuring the long-term health of the forest and the method is well suited to supporting management objectives that require maintenance of some large trees on-site for aesthetic and/or wildlife habitat reasons.
Forestry regulations in BC also state requirements to address specific issues based upon ecosystem functioning and wildlife habitat area guidelines. This is achieved in a number of ways:
- In order to protect water quality and habitat, areas of uncut forest are left along rivers and lakes as well as in and around important wildlife areas.
- Coarse woody debris such as stumps, branches, fallen trees and understory vegetation are left on the forest floor to maintain biodiversity and to provide habitat for plants, animals, insects, and nutrients for soil development.
- Harvest areas retain large uncut patches within the blocks as well as large living and dead wildlife trees to provide seeds, wildlife habitat, food, shelter and to support natural ecological processes and emulate the natural forest dynamic.
- Cut boundaries follow natural landscape contours, and reserves are left thoughout larger patches to protect features such as wildlife corridors
- Management of forest to retain and promote thermal cover and forage for ungulate species, such as moose
- Retention of visual screening between roads and wildlife management areas.
Forests and woodlots are a valuable resource for the Chilcotin Mountain area. Conscious logging practices and real management efforts have to be made in order to insure the sustainability of the timber resource and production. Chilcotin Holidays monitors ground-forest practices of the area so as to identify related issues and screen the efficacy of current forest practices.
Chilcotin Holidays is also involved in the access management for deactivation of roads to limit access to certain areas. This strategy enhances the possibilities for wildlife to occupy new areas and use migration corridors.