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Monitoring the effects of forest practices on soil productivity and hydrologic function

Chuck Bulmer, Shannon Berch, Mike Curran, Bill Chapman, Marty Kranabetter, Stephane Dube, Graeme Hope, Paul Courtin, Richard Kabzems

Abstract


In British Columbia and elsewhere, governments are evaluating the sustainability of forest practices. This requires the development of sensitive and reliable indicators and their monitoring over time. Conserving soil productivity and hydrologic function is a key aspect of forest ecosystem sustainability. British Columbia's Forest and Range Evaluation Program (FREP) has recently developed a protocol describing indicators and methods for collecting the data necessary to evaluate forest practices. We present five indicators for describing the status of soils on recently harvested areas in British Columbia, along with a brief scientific rationale for including them in the evaluation system, and a description of their intended use for monitoring sustainability. For three of the indicators, we also provide preliminary thresholds to help in determining whether current forest practices are consistent with the maintenance of soil productivity and hydrologic function.

Keywords


Forest and Range Evaluation Program; Forest and Range Practices Act; forest soil disturbance; indicators; monitoring; soil conservation

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