Silviculture Strategies

Silviculture is the art and science of managing the establishment, growth, composition, health and quality of forests to meet the needs and values of the landowners and society on a sustainable basis. Silviculture is often confused with managing stands and forests for timber, but silviculture practices are also used to manage forests for wildlife, water, recreation aesthetics, or any combination of these or other forest uses.

Integrated Silviculture Strategies

Integrated silviculture strategies evolved from both the Type 4 silviculture strategies and other landscape-scale integrated resource planning. They take operational management of the multiple forest resource values a leap forward, through the use of spatial (map) data and sophisticated GIS analysis. The process takes a forward looking approach, generating management scenarios based on different harvesting and silviculture practices. Each scenario evaluates the potential impacts on a number of forest resource values, such as fire risk, wildlife habitat, and riparian resources. The resource managers responsible for making integrated management decisions can select the scenario that results in the preferred outcomes for the multiple values, and subsequent operational plans for harvesting, stand tending, wildlife management plans, and forest health management can be constructed.

As the process is intended to be iterative, management are responsive to emerging opportunities and issues, and the focus is on continual learning about the resource, associated processes and emerging trends. The strategies inform options on managing the full range of resource values and will complement timber supply reviews.

Developing integrated resource management scenarios also requires information on the condition and trends of the values being assessed.  More information on monitoring of the forest values can be found at the Integrated Resource Monitoring page.

Silviculture Strategy Descriptions

Strategic silviculture plans provide a description of the timber supply and habitat supply issues, opportunities to increase timber supply and habitat supply, and the potential treatments, treatable area and silvicultural strategies associated with those opportunities. Since 1998, several version of Type 1 and 2 strategies have been completed on most management units timber supply areas (TSA) and tree farm licences (TFL) in B.C. In 2006, several management units updated their Type 2 silviculture strategies and included the Type 3 habitat supply analysis and reported on how each investment scenario impacted habitat supply.

Types 1 - 4 Silviculture Strategies

Strategy Type

Description

Type 1
  • Uses existing timber supply region (TSR) summary information to identify issues and opportunities for silvicultural investments
  • Uses stand level analysis and, based on expert opinions, factoring estimates up to the forest level
  • Produced interim management unit level specific harvest level and timber quality objectives
  • Based on expert opinions, provides plausible targets and strategies and silviculture regimes that can be used as inputs in the more in depth Type 2 analysis
Type 2
  • Builds a base case that closely matches the TSR
  • Uses other readily available information to augment the TSR base case
  • Includes in-depth forest level modelling and analysis to develop silviculture strategies and funding needs
  • Produces management unit level specific harvest level and timber quality objectives
Type 3
  • Similar to the Type 2, but also includes habitat supply modelling and analysis
Type 4
  • Builds a base case that may differ from the latest TSR base case
  • Uses other readily available information to update and augment the TSR base case
  • Includes in-depth forest level modelling and analysis to develop silviculture strategies and funding needs
  • Produces management unit level specific harvest level and timber quality objectives.
  • Provides direction for tree species selection and tree species diversity targets by BEC subzones
  • Provides direction regarding landscape level retention targets, harvesting priorities and climate change
  • Where other non-timber value strategies exist, and data is readily available, provides direction on key local non-timber values and concerns
  • Includes a discussion of treatment risk, including reference to local wildfire management plans
  • Helps to develop a spatially explicit five-year plan for silviculture investments