Canadian Forest Service Publications

The Bowron River Watershed: A landscape level assessment of post-beetle change in stream riparian function. 2009. Nordin, L.; Maloney, D.; Rex, J.; Krauskopf, P.; Tschaplinski, P.J.; Hogan, D. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper 2008-22. 35 p.

Year: 2009

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 29241

Language: English

Series: Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper (PFC - Victoria)

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

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Streams and riparian areas in the Bowron River watershed were assessed using the Routine Riparian Effectiveness Evaluation (RREE) to determine their level of ecological function 20-30 years after accelerated harvest activity. The RREE is a procedure that includes both stream and riparian indicators to assess the health and condition of a stream reach. Sites in heavily harvested sub-basins had lower overall evaluation scores than reference sites, mainly because of high failure rates of riparian indicators. Larger streams located lower in the sub-basin appeared to score slightly better than those in the upper basin and this is likely due to a larger riparian buffer at lower basin sites. A regeneration time of 20-30 years after clearcutting was determined to be insufficient for the recovery of riparian indicators to pre-harvest conditions. Variation among sites with respect to stream indicators appeared higher within the harvested and reference groups than between them, indicating that harvesting effects have diminished and natural variability is a stronger governing factor. The within-group variability was explained in part by differences in slope, channel width, coupling and soil erodibility. Recommendations for salvage logging best management practices are given based on observations of recovery from past harvesting activities and site specific characteristics.