By BC Forest Practices Board
The investigation found that licensees’ reforestation choices shifted from establishing lodgepole pine monocultures to establishing more mixed species stands over the investigation period (2007-2019), with the intent of establishing resilient stands to meet timber and non-timber resource objectives. While the trend is encouraging, investigators found that licensees were generically regenerating to pre-harvest mature stand species composition without considering site-specific tree species application, reflecting a lack of critical thinking regarding longer-term stand development.
On the ground, licensees complied with FRPA reforestation requirements, but more than 60 percent of the cutblocks sampled were in poor or marginal stand condition due to poor health, low stocking, and/or competing vegetation—this result appears to be driven by ineffective application of silviculture treatments, forest cover retention, species choices and placement at the site level. One of the main factors contributing to poor stand condition was that licensees were not following best management practices for reforestation in dry-belt fir stands. Given the stand conditions observed, it is likely that many of these stands will not be healthy beyond free growing, potentially compromising forest yields and forest cover requirements for resources such as wildlife habitat and forage production.