VICTORIA – The British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is providing additional guidance to professional foresters and licensees regarding salvage-harvest planning.
The guidance comes in the wake of the 2017 wildfire season, when 700,000 hectares of land with merchantable timber was burned.
Burnt timber declines quickly in value, and licensees are focusing operations on retrieving maximum economic value from burned areas, explains a release. Licensees have a legal requirement to reforest harvested areas.
The 26-page guidance document, entitled Post Natural Disturbance Forest Retention Guidance: 2017 Wildfires, focuses on six main priorities. It emphasizes ensuring human safety and minimizing damage to built infrastructure; sustaining, restoring and enhancing ecosystem capacity; considering collective disturbance on landscapes to mitigate cumulative results; and facilitation of forest adaptation to improve climate change resistance.
It also focuses on minimizing impacts on timber supply by shifting logging activity from undamaged stands to damaged stands when possible and recovering value from burned timber before the quality of the wood deteriorates.
The principles in the document are also applicable to other large-scale disturbances such as landslides, floods and avalanches, a government news release stated.