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Inland Rainforest Why Are We Turning Thousand-year-old Cedars into Garden Mulch? David J. Connell, PhD Environmental Planning University of Northern British.

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Presentation on theme: "Inland Rainforest Why Are We Turning Thousand-year-old Cedars into Garden Mulch? David J. Connell, PhD Environmental Planning University of Northern British."— Presentation transcript:

1 Inland Rainforest Why Are We Turning Thousand-year-old Cedars into Garden Mulch? David J. Connell, PhD Environmental Planning University of Northern British Columbia

2 Photo: David Connell

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4 Why? Source:

5 What and where is the inland rainforest? Darwyn Coxson Kathy Juncker Hugh Perkins David Radies Nowell Senior Rick Zammuto

6 “The Interior Cedar Hemlock forests near Prince George are globally unique. They contain cedar trees in excess of 1500 years old, rare plant species and endangered caribou. Indeed there are few forests in the world that parallel its biodiversity value. Within this unique area, there are stands of trees that are considered by science as global hotspots for biodiversity.” Integrated Land Management Bureau (2008) Guidance and Technical Background Information for Biodiversity Management in the Interior Cedar Hemlock Zone within the Prince George Land and Resource Management Plan Area

7 “The Interior Cedar Hemlock forests near Prince George are globally unique. They contain cedar trees in excess of 1500 years old, rare plant species and endangered caribou. Indeed there are few forests in the world that parallel its biodiversity value. Within this unique area, there are stands of trees that are considered by science as global hotspots for biodiversity.” Integrated Land Management Bureau (2008) Guidance and Technical Background Information for Biodiversity Management in the Interior Cedar Hemlock Zone within the Prince George Land and Resource Management Plan Area

8 “The Interior Cedar Hemlock forests near Prince George are globally unique. They contain cedar trees in excess of 1500 years old, rare plant species and endangered caribou. Indeed there are few forests in the world that parallel its biodiversity value. Within this unique area, there are stands of trees that are considered by science as global hotspots for biodiversity.” Integrated Land Management Bureau (2008) Guidance and Technical Background Information for Biodiversity Management in the Interior Cedar Hemlock Zone within the Prince George Land and Resource Management Plan Area

9 “The Interior Cedar Hemlock forests near Prince George are globally unique. They contain cedar trees in excess of 1500 years old, rare plant species and endangered caribou. Indeed there are few forests in the world that parallel its biodiversity value. Within this unique area, there are stands of trees that are considered by science as global hotspots for biodiversity.” Integrated Land Management Bureau (2008) Guidance and Technical Background Information for Biodiversity Management in the Interior Cedar Hemlock Zone within the Prince George Land and Resource Management Plan Area

10 “The Interior Cedar Hemlock forests near Prince George are globally unique. They contain cedar trees in excess of 1500 years old, rare plant species and endangered caribou. Indeed there are few forests in the world that parallel its biodiversity value. Within this unique area, there are stands of trees that are considered by science as global hotspots for biodiversity.” Integrated Land Management Bureau (2008) Guidance and Technical Background Information for Biodiversity Management in the Interior Cedar Hemlock Zone within the Prince George Land and Resource Management Plan Area

11 Source:

12 Source:

13 Distribution of 'wet' and 'dry' site series conditions (Radies 2007) Source:

14 Wet toe slope Low level of natural disturbances Photo: Sari Jaakola

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16 Photo: David Connell

17 Ancient forest “discovered”

18 Historical context First Nations Kopas, Cliff Packhorses to the Pacific Cliff and Ruth Kopas completed at four-month, 1,500 kilometre journey from Alberta to the Pacific, which included a trek along the Goat River trail through the inland rainforest

19 It was dusk in the tall forest. Huge cedar trees, six feet in diameter, rose hundreds of feet in the air and while these immense columns were limbless for many feet from the ground, their upper foliage joined to shut out the sky and much of the light. About six feet from the ground a waxy layer of leaves on tall stems created a carpet from which arose sprigs of bright red berries. The addition of an occasional clump of symmetrically spreading ferns completed a picture of tremendous beauty. It could have been a carving, or a painting, for apart from us, there was no sound or motion.

20 But the beauty was marred by the fact that these waxy green plants were Devil’s Club with sharp spines on every inch of the stems on the underpart of every leaf, even on the roots wherever they were exposed. So cruel were these that the horses could not be forced against them. Several of the trees had fallen across the trail in such places as to make climbing around them impossible. Previous travellers had built ramps on either side of the six-foot obstructions by laying fallen limbs and lesser trees parallel with the trunks, enabling horses to scramble over them. From the top of these we could look in so far that the brown trunks formed a line of phantoms against further vision.

21 “Surely it’s the Devil’s Cathedral,” murmured Ruth. We built two sets of ramps against new- fallen trunks, ascended out of this eerie forest and went down a canyon on a wall of blue clay…

22 New perspective: ecological significance “We emphasize that the inland rain forests of British Columbia are unique in the world” (Goward and Spribille 2005, p. 1216)

23 Inland Rainforest Why Are We Turning Thousand-year-old Cedars into Garden Mulch?

24 Timber products

25 Billy Oliver, West Twin Creek Source: The Canadian Log House (1975)

26 Garnet Oliver Source: The Canadian Log House (1975)

27 Loading truck Source: Sharon (Oliver) Robinson

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29 Why cedar? Natural beauty –Requires no painting or any other maintenance Environmentally friendly; biodegradable, made from a renewable resource Stability and durability make it one of the world's most unique softwood species Contains natural oils that act as preservatives, to help the wood resist insect attack and decay

30 Photo: Sari Jaakola

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33 TRC Cedar, McBride, BC Operated under FL A52524 since July 1996 –40,000m3/year for five years FL A61216 issued January 1, 2000 –15-year term for twice the volume (80,000 m3/yr) –Allow mill to add a second shift and provide a wood supply further into the future In August 2000, TRC requested more green wood, and less salvage from severely and moderately-damaged stands Overall, 48 percent of the expected volume was proposed to come from moderately and severely-damaged stands Approved: balanced the salvage objective with TRC’s other objectives of maintaining local employment opportunities and encouraging value-added manufacturing of cedar

34 Timber values (ILMB) ILMB Guidance and Technical Background Information for Biodiversity Management in the Interior Cedar Hemlock Zone within the Prince George Land and Resource Management Plan Area

35 Complaints to Forest Practices Board First complaint filed in January Among other concerns, opposed to harvesting green wood under a licence that was granted to salvage dead wood. This complaint lead to the first round of OGMAs.

36 Complaints to Forest Practices Board Second complaint filed April 20, 2007 Approved cutblocks and harvesting practices did not address government’s biodiversity objectives. Concerns about impacts of approved harvesting on the Driscoll Ridge hiking trail and the Ancient Forest hiking trail The complainants requested that government: –Spatially define OGMAs to secure the biodiversity of the interior cedar-hemlock rainforest –Consider all approved cutblocks as part of this process –Place a moratorium on logging in all known ‘antique’ cedar stands

37 Forest Practices Board response to second complaint The licensee’s cutblocks were exempted from the requirements of the 2004 Biodiversity Order There is a gap in the ability to manage for, and maintain, old growth values because government’s “old forest” targets can currently be met without conserving any forest older than 140 years. Biodiversity targets need to be representative of the ecosystem but the current targets are not refined enough to capture the richest biodiversity values in the ICH The Board found: –There is sufficient information to warrant spatially locating OGMAs –Rare biological values are jeopardized and possibly at risk.

38 “Good News for the Ancient Forest” February, 2008 TRC officially cancelled plans for harvesting Block 486

39 Socio-economic benefits of non-timber uses of the ancient cedars Timber Non-timber forest products Recreation Tourism Conservation Cultural and spiritual Trapping, hunting Research Promotion

40 Conservation for biological diversity

41 Conservation: focal species Source: Lance Craighead (2004)

42 Conservation Corridor Source: Save The Cedar League

43 ILMB Guidance report: Biodiversity Biodiversity should be maintained at multiple spatial and temporal scales A failure to accommodate biodiversity in planning can diminish the capacity of forests to continue providing ecological services –The production of timber, of the same quality and quantity in perpetuity

44 ILMB Guidance report: Scope ILMB would like to stress at the outset that this…paper is intended as guidance only and is not legally binding Identifies areas of high and medium biodiversity value that are outside Old Growth Management Areas and parks. The environmental and social risks of current biodiversity management enactments are significant

45 ILMB Guidance report: Recommendations May require a spatial approach to management. Recommends the following strategies –Prioritize retention of areas identified as High Biodiversity Value –If all of the High Biodiversity Area is retained, prioritize Medium Biodiversity Value areas for retention

46 Guidance – Biodiversity Management ILMB 2008 Guidance Report

47 Forest Practices Board - commentary Non-binding guidance Taking such an approach may not be effective because without identification or assessment of endangered plant communities and rare species, and the incorporation of that information into designated OGMAs, there is no legal constraint on forest practices to balance timber and non-timber resources.

48 Conservation for climate change (carbon sequestration)

49 Old-growth forests are more valuable as carbon sinks Sebastiaan Luyssaert, University of Antwerp "Old-growth forests accumulate carbon for centuries and contain large quantities of it," the authors write. "We expect, however, that much of this carbon, even soil carbon, will move back to the atmosphere if these forests are disturbed." The authors end by arguing for the inclusion of old-growth forests in climate change mitigation programs

50 Old-growth forests are more valuable as carbon sinks Duncan Knowler, Simon Fraser University In almost every scenario, researchers say they found the value of the carbon captured and stored by the trees far outweighed the value of the lumber harvested from the logs.

51 ResearchResearch

52 Recent research funding Estimated total (since 2002): $570,000 –Sustainable Forest Management Network –Disturbance Ecology in the Inland Rainforest –Impacts of Partial cutting logging –Landscape level lichen biodiversity –Inland Rainforest Conservation Biology Book –Lichen biodiversity in deciduous wetland swales –Carbon cycling in wetbelt forests –Wildlife dependence –Robson Valley Rainforest Conservation Plan and Ecoguide Publication –A Rainforest Corridor For Sustainable Communities of Robson Valley –Socio-economic Impacts of Non-timber Uses

53 Tourism and recreation

54 Ancient Forest Trail officially opened on June 4, 2006 Photo: H. Perkins

55 Ancient Forest Trail David Connell 2008

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57 Ancient Forest Trail (Dome Creek) Source:

58 Photo: David Connell

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60 Trail maintenance by Caledonia Rambler volunteers Photos: David Connell

61 Trail maintenance by Caledonia Rambler volunteers Photos: David Connell

62 Trail maintenance by Caledonia Rambler volunteers Photos: David Connell

63 Photo: David Connell

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66 Off-trail degradation Photo: David Connell

67 Carson Electronics Valemount, BC Photo: David Connell Sourece:

68 Trail use statistics Visitors: 4,900 Summer 2008 (5/27/08-9/1/08) 1,611 Fall 2008 (9/2/08-10/5/08) 6,511 Total 2008 (5/27/08-10/5/08) Assumptions: –25% double counted –10% missed (children) Daily average: 48.6 –Two to three times higher on a weekend day

69 Trail count: daily averages (5/27/08-9/15/08)

70 Trail count: Cumulative total (5/27/08-9/15/08)

71 Who is using the Trail? Ancient Forest Trail – Visitor’s Book Installed June 2, 2008 Summary August 28, 2008 People from eight provinces, 12 states, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Austria and Japan

72 Who is using the Trail? On-site surveys

73 Prince George 61% Alberta 12%

74 Who is using the Trail? On-site surveys Tourist 27% Recreation 58% Other 15%

75 Non-use values ILMB: non-use values are significantly greater than use-values in the long term ILMB Guidance and Technical Background Information for Biodiversity Management in the Interior Cedar Hemlock Zone within the Prince George Land and Resource Management Plan Area

76 Inland Rainforest Why Are We Turning Thousand-year-old Cedars into Garden Mulch?

77 Photo: David Connell


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