Presentation on theme: "Timber Supply and Issue Analysis (Being an example of the Planner’s role in decision support). Which illustrates principles of OMIGOD Syndrome and Best."— Presentation transcript:
Timber Supply and Issue Analysis (Being an example of the Planner’s role in decision support). Which illustrates principles of OMIGOD Syndrome and Best Available Information. Shit Happens. It cannot be predicted or avoided. But the foreknowledge that it will happen can forearm the prudent.
Anatomy of an Issue (Generally arriving in the form of a communication which requires response) Does it affect us? Do we have to respond? If so, how soon? Which is most critical: speed or accuracy? What are the obvious risks and benefits?
Usually, the issue comes with a deadline and it’s just a matter of doing the best you can with resources available. But this means studying its anatomy carefully before leaping into action. What do you have, what can you obtain, how can you have the best effect in the time available? Be sure you confirm mutual understanding of the issue with the client before starting. Some projects, like Timber Supply Review, may have a budget of several years. Others, such as the Glacier/Howser Wildlife Management Area proposal, require action within a week. Some of the SaRCO caribou habitat proposals needed to be dealt with in a matter of days or hours. We’ll look at all three of these.
Basic Tools It’s all about the land and its resources. That means reliable maps, and a resultant database. Many questions can be answered in minutes by just checking a map and determining “not an issue”. Most answers are in hectares. The ability to answer a question quickly is not only good performance, it is efficient with time. An unprepared planner can flounder for a week where another can provide a relevant answer in minutes.
Reliable Maps This means that someone with field knowledge has checked them. It means that errors are identified and corrected over time. Digital technology brings great benefits, but one drawback is the proliferation of copies which are easily modified. Be cautious about relying on outside sources for your digital maps. Once you’ve confirmed their accuracy, hold onto them. Hardcopies are recommended in addition to digital maps, because sometimes your machine is down and your boss still wants an answer. Besides, it’s often faster to look at a paper map instead of loading one up.
A comprehensive database Containing at minimum all relevant map layers and forest cover data Derived fields such as THLB, CFLB. In Kootenay Lake, our first databases (late 1980’s) used dBase II (Bob Bourdon, Inventory Officer). They were slow and clunky, but we could generate our own data summaries instead of relying on others. This also allowed us to grow more familiar with our map and inventory data, and to correct errors. By constantly using our data, we got steadily better at it.
dBase II, dBase III, MSAccess... We also had Peter Lewis working for us as District Planner from 1990-95, so our analytical capability was unmatched by most Districts. When Peter moved to Arrow in 1995, we figured we needed to keep the analytical capability. Greg Gage, with limited experience but plenty of confidence, took an MSAccess course and within two weeks was cranking out reports using Bob’s latest database. Greg moved in 1998 and was not replaced. With some trepidation, I started using MSAccess on a regular basis.
With up to date resultant databases, we were able to answer most questions quickly. More detailed or complex analyses (or construction of new databases) were contracted out. In 2002/03, spatial map data became the responsibility of MSRM. Districts were discouraged from keeping their own data. We did anyways. Good thing, too. Late in 2004, Barb Hanlon was hired (half time) as GIS operator. Our mix of experience and skills proved quite effective at issue analysis.
Timber Supply Review TSR began in 1992, as a streamlined version of the old TSA and TFL Plans (and the associated yield analysis and AAC determination) Management unit plans were getting bogged down in detail and political issues such as land use. Kootenay Lake went 14 years between the last TSA yield analysis (1980) and completion of TSR 1 (1994). Now, TSR seems to be getting bogged down again. TSR 3, which we had originally hoped to complete in one year (because we had clean, up to date data from our Spatial Analysis Project), took three. Not because of District delays. The main benefit to TSR may be the re-examination of input data and assumptions. Each TSR usually becomes a benchmark for subsequent analysis.
TSR has limitations Because it is a standardized approach and modelled at the TSA level, it gives very general indications only. Issue analysis typically requires much finer geographical resolution, and each issue is unique. Analysis techniques also vary depending on what information is available. TSR serves as a useful reference point – our 2006 Spatial Analysis used TSR 2 assumptions, but it also incorporated detail to the planning cell and cutblock level.
The COD Run Basically the same as a TSR harvest forecast, but with even flow requirements removed. The model harvests everything it can in each decade, but still meets minimum harvest age and forest cover rules. The term was coined by Joe Maure, Nelson Region analyst, at about the same time as the collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery. People started using the term without knowing where it came from. When they started asking, we had to make up an acronym for it. We finally settled on “cut on demand”.
SPATIAL TIMBER SUPPLY ANALYSIS FOR THE KOOTENAY LAKE TSA February 26, 2006 Prepared for: Brian Dureski, Tembec Ltd., and Jim Hackett, Interior Lumber Manufacturers Association, acting as Kootenay Lake Forest Association representatives, And Marcie Belcher, FIA Project Coordinator And Dale Anderson, Ministry of Forests, acting in a technical expert and Q/A role. Submitted by: Interior Reforestation Co. Ltd. P.O. Box 874 4142 McPhee Road Cranbrook, B.C.
2006 SOAP It’s very important to have pronounceable acronyms. If you can make them funny as well, that’s good too. One currently unexplored field is that of combined acronyms. As an example, if we had to do a new Spatial Operating Area Project in order to address a new Mineral Exploration & Utilization Policy for the Bureau of Advanced Business Yield, we’d have: SOAP MEUP BABY
But I digress. Back to the 2006 SOAP. The intent was to re-allocate operating areas to licensees, to address Bill 28 takebacks, new community forest tenures, and other landbase changes. It is the most detailed, most spatially explicit analysis that has ever been done at the TSA level in Kootenay Lake. (And it still didn’t manage to give a definitive answer. There is a lesson here. Be patient, Grasshopper.)
Spatial Analysis All this means is that we can hold the model accountable for where it harvests timber. Previously, models were like black boxes. Inputs in, outputs out, and limited ability to verify accuracy. Spatial analysis is a tool which enables operational review of modelling assumptions. In the absence of knowledgeable operational review, spatial analysis is no more accurate than any other.
Short Term vs. Long Term In timber supply analysis, these are two very different creatures indeed. Information sources and analytical methods may be entirely different If someone mentions a 7% timber supply impact and can’t answer you if you ask what timeframe it applies to, then you might suspect that they are full of something other than infinite wisdom.
APPENDIX I – ASSESSING MTN CARIBOU HABITAT IMPACTS In early 2008, the information generated from this project was used as a baseline to assess incremental short-term volume impacts of proposed caribou habitat areas under SaRCO. Maps were generated at a scale of 1:50,000 (the same as the COD harvest forecast maps) which showed existing and proposed caribou habitat, operability, and planning cells. These maps were then compared with the COD maps, and adjustments were made to the licensees’ volume availability figures for the first decade for those planning cells where mapping changes occurred. These figures were summed and expressed as a percentage reduction from the total first-decade volume identified as available for each licensee under the spatial operating area analysis. Data was corrected to reflect operating area adjustments which have been made since 2006. The percentage reduction figures were generated as follows: (m3 identified as available in SOAP decade 1 which is now unavailable due to new SaRCO maps) divided by (total m3 identified in SOAP decade 1 for all of a licensee’s operating areas in DKL). Note that, due to the removal of Hope Creek from existing caribou habitat, the net impact on BCTS was positive in terms of short-term volume availability within DKL.
m3 Reduction % Red'n Meadow Creek196,34323.5% Atco47,98822.1%(32.6% if Qua Cr included) JH Huscroft60,96120.4% Tembec57,95918.6% Wynndel55,22810.8% CVFC15,9078.2% Kalesnikoff17,4566.6% BCTS(41,439)n/a(Increase in volume availability of 2.8% due to removal of Hope Cr) TOTAL410,403 Note: Harrop-Procter community forest not included in the above above - minimal first-decade impact, approx. 9% long term Porcupine Wood Products proposed blocks in Westfall River also not included in the above
Lessons learned Numerical analysis has serious limitations which get exacerbated at smaller geographical scales. Field information is always better (even if it’s subjective) The feedback loop is what can make the strategic and operational planning levels work For next COD SOAP project, recommend removing modelled forest cover constraints for sensitive terrain, VQO’s, and class 1 domestic watersheds (variability is too high at planning cell level). Full commitment to operational review stage is key.
Planning Cells First set developed by Reg Davis in 1988 Current set developed 2000 by Bob Bourdon and other inventory staff using TRIM heights of land and stream channels. Range from 250 to 4,800 hectares in size. PC’s are smaller in areas with resource issues and high likelihood of analytical requirements. This effectively pre-slices the dataset so you don’t have to digitize most areas of interest.
Info requests are usually geographically specific, but are often vague. It is usually possible to approximate the area of interest with planning cells. (In fact, you can often persuade your clients to adopt planning cell boundaries for their area of interest. It makes it easier for them) Now that desktop GIS applications are widespread and reliable, the need for planning cells may be less. But they have many uses and, once built, they are easily incorporated into datasets.
Example: Glacier/Howser WMA (see document). The issue was a proposed Wildlife Management Area for grizzly bear in the upper Howser and Glacier drainages. The map was vague, but planning cells provided a close approximation. The analytical data was supplemented by other known resource information, including the subjective stuff (like the grazing tenure).
Crown Forest land BaseTimber Harvesting Land Base All ages7,4771,501 Mature5,143 740 Mature THLB, less Balsam and Hemlock leading stands 212 The potential wildlife management areas (WMAs) are approximated by planning cells 2011-2031 in Glacier Creek and 2119-2155 in Howser Creek. Mature forests are defined here as 100 years and older. Upper Glacier (gross area 22,675 ha)
Crown Forest Land BaseTimber Harvesting Land Base All ages11,2333,709 Mature 7,8292,264 Mature THLB, less Balsam and Hemlock leading stands 1,355 Upper Howser (gross area 31,201 ha)
Season of Activity Due to the high snowfall accumulation, winter harvesting is not feasible in these areas, and the effective season of operation is roughly June through October (in some years, operations may extend well into November). This applies to reforestation activities and other field work as well. This fact may prove difficult to reconcile with access restrictions during berry production periods, and would have to be adapted for specific areas and harvest opportunities. Some degree of coordination should be possible if sufficient flexibility remained at the operational level. The ability to take advantage of favourable weather for both harvesting and reforestation, however, is critical in these areas.
Grazing Tenures There is one range tenure, held by Rainbow’s End Ranch in Glacier Creek. It is not large, but both the subject areas fall within the area of this tenure. Keeping livestock and owners out of the proposed areas might require modification of the tenure, fencing, or other measures.
District Recommendations After reviewing information provided by Bill Hunter and Bruce McLellan, we offer the following recommendations: 1. As a general rule, landscape units are appropriate geographical units at which to address resource management interactions and tradeoffs. We do not necessarily support an access restriction or WMA designation over the entire Howser (K21) and Glacier (K20) landscape units, but we do support working at the LU scale and considering all resource values/issues when developing the AMA strategy. 2. It may be possible to minimize industrial access by having operators (Meadow Creek Cedar and BCTS) plan out their field operations in advance each year. As long as flexibility remains to allow them to depart from these plans when necessary, it should be possible to minimize unnecessary site visits. This would, of course, be an ongoing process from year to year. 3.Planning of harvest patterns and silvicultural treatments to address GB habitat seems reasonable, but the extent to which various measures may be practicable can be expected to vary from site to site. Within the Forest and Range Practices Act framework, this might best be addressed through professional reliance and a clear statement of management intent in the WMA Order. In other words, a prescribing professional forester would have to address the issue of GB habitat either by incorporating measures or by demonstrating why certain measures are not feasible on a particular site. 4. Provision of access for industrial/forest management purposes largely addresses our concerns, but we anticipate considerable public opposition to closure – particularly in Glacier Creek. We are unsure how best to proceed – a detailed planning process with stakeholder participation could easily get bogged down. An internal decision by government could occur more quickly, but might spark greater resistance. We recommend that the establishment procedure, and subsequent enforcement, be given careful consideration. 5.In light of the above, we suggest that consideration be given to a non-motorized hunting restriction rather than ruling out all motorized public access. 6.Gates have historically been difficult to maintain and enforce. We assume that the agency responsible for the closure would also assume responsibility for construction and maintenance. Our office would be prepared to assist with enforcement, consistent with the RMCP initiative. 7.We recommend that the new mountain caribou habitat areas and the uneconomic drainages (East and Giegrich Creeks) be further examined to evaluate potential incremental benefits to grizzly bears. We assume that the contribution of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy has been factored in to previous assessments. 8.Finally, we are concerned that agencies, ourselves included, are having to deal with access management issues on a “one-off” basis rather than through a systematic and integrated planning process such as RAMP. This is no reflection on those who are attempting to deal with real issues such as Glacier/Howser/Jumbo, Englishman Creek, or the Yahk/Cabinet Grizzly population. We simply note it as an item of concern which will require ongoing discussion.
One more example The issue was reaching agreement on spatial OGMAs between licensees in Boundary TSA and TFL 8. One big question was whether the current draft OGMAs met old growth requirements, and were some licensees impacted more than others. Peter Lewis generated an MS Access database similar to the one I used for Kootenay Lake. Getting quick answers to these questions has largely defused the issue, and licensees are now comfortable with sorting out the details.
Work with the Database Creator Ensure that you check each and every map input layer prior to resultant creation. Do not just assume that the LRDW, or any other version, is correct. And take your database for a spin once it arrives. Check all your critical numbers (such as LU CFLB and old growth) against your previous database.
And now a quick MS Access demo (In which our hero takes the ultimate risk to credibility... by trying to actually do something instead of talk about it... Especially with people watching...) Note that it really helps to know what the field names mean. When you order your resultant database, be sure to get fries with it. Or at least, field descriptions)