Current Reforestation Potentially Treatable Areas
British Columbia has undergone significant land based impacts from both the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) epidemic and major wildfires since 1999.
Without significant silvicultural intervention, the delay, pattern, and reduced levels of natural regeneration on some of these areas will result in substantial reductions in future timber supplies having considerable negative impacts on the society and economies of many communities. Also, silviculture activities can provide significant restorative value to aspects such as water and wildlife habitat in the ecosystems impacted by these catastrophic disturbances.
Given the scale of these disturbances over the last decade, determining the amount of area that would be economically beneficial to invest in was paramount. Near the beginning of the MPB outbreak estimates on the amount of treatable area were based on modeled projections of how the epidemic would unfold.
As the MPB epidemic winds down re-analysis of the area that is economically viable for treatment would assist in refining an effective and efficient reforestation response.
Geographic Information System (GIS) overlays using best available information provided the data to assess treatable areas. Areas that might be not sufficiently stocked were determined using the vegetation resource inventory, provincial overview surveys for forest health, perimeters of wildfires since 1999, current harvested stand updates, and the mapped boundaries of the timber harvesting land base.
Areas that were either burnt or severely to very severely impacted by MPB were further assessed for potential for natural regeneration, projections on future harvest levels, site productivity, slope, and proximity to nearest mills.