Forest and Range Evaluation Program resource features monitoring
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Where established by a Government Actions Regulation (GAR) order, a surface or subsurface element of a karst system is a protected resource feature. Karst is a distinctive topography in which the landscape is shaped by the dissolving action of water on carbonate bedrock such as limestone, dolomite or marble.
The goal of monitoring karst is to determine whether forest practices are protecting selected categories of surface karst features.
Are current forest practices protecting and maintaining the structure, function and ecological integrity of surface karst features?
Karst monitoring focuses on evaluating recent disturbances related to forestry activities upon surface karst features (sinkholes, sinking streams, karst springs, and cave entrances). Six key disturbance indicators are evaluated at each selected surface karst feature:
- Tree removal
- Post-harvest windthrow
- Introduced materials (logging slash or road construction materials)
- Disturbed forest floor, mineral soil and bedrock
- Changes to understory vegetation
In addition to collecting data on the disturbance indicators, the evaluation also records information such as:
- Dimensions / shape of the surface karst feature
- Characteristics of the site
- Width and integrity of any retention area surrounding the feature