In past years, there has been a serious need to develop the ability to report on the current status of the forest resource in British Columbia. There is also a pressing need to monitor forest changes.
In 2010, government developed a business case for monitoring called Why We Need to Monitor Change in Our Managed Forests, that focuses on second-growth stands in high risk and priority management units. This identified a critical knowledge gap in many areas, including stand performance, forest health, stocking and volume. It is based on key business drivers, including:
- Confirming sustainability, especially over the mid-term
- Fulfilling forest stewardship core responsibilities
- Providing critical information for allowable annual cut determinations
- Checking site productivity and stand performance assumptions
- Providing continuous feedback to improve basic and incremental silviculture, including tree improvement investments
- Providing data on how carbon sequestration and climate change may be affecting second-growth stands
In response to this need, the Inventory Section has implemented the Change Monitoring Inventory (CMI) and Young Stand Monitoring (YSM) ground sampling programs. The Change Monitoring Inventory (CMI) plots are located on the same 20km by 20km grid across the entire province that is used for the National Forest Inventory (NFI) plots. Young Stand Monitoring (YSM) plots are located on an intensification of this grid (usually a 5 by 10 km grid). Initially plot establishment was targeted at high-risk areas where inventories were compromised due to the impact of mountain pine beetle and where young stand growth rates are critical to mid-term timber supply. The program is now expanding and will eventually cover the entire province – See maps of established plots as of October 2018 below.
These plots are NOT protected from harvesting or other land use changes because the objective is to monitor all changes on the landscape. Sample data collected at these locations can be used to assess our forest inventory at a point in time and to check the growth and yield predictions employed in timber supply review, silviculture planning, yield modelling, and other key forest management tools and processes.
Figure 1. Location of established Change Monitoring Inventory (CMI) and National Forest Inventory (NFI) plots on the 20 by 20 km grid across British Columbia
Figure 2. Location of established Young Stand Monitoring (YSM) plots across British Columbia.