Predicting the risk of wet ground areas in the Vanderhoof Forest District: Project description and progress report


  • John Rex
  • Stephane Dubé



mountain pine beetle, risk assessment, risk indicators, soil hydrology, water balance


The mountain pine beetle epidemic is changing British Columbia forests and watersheds at the landscape scale. Watersheds with dead-pine-leading stands in the Vanderhoof Forest District of central British Columbia are reported to have wet soils due to raised water tables. They report a conversion of summer logging ground (dry firm soil) to winter logging ground (wetter less firm soil), upon which forestry equipment operation is difficult or impossible before freeze-up. This paper outlines a project that explores this serious operational issue through the perspective of the hydrologic water balance. It aims to determine the spatial extent of wet ground areas and to provide operational guidance through the development of a model that can predict where wet ground may occur at the stand and watershed level. The watershed-level prediction described here will be based on risk indicators developed from available geographic information system data and aerial photographs, as well as local knowledge. Predictions will be qualified through field verification studies at representative stands within ranked watersheds. Preliminary results are presented.