A special investigation into interior Douglas-fir forests in B.C. found current efforts may not be leading to future healthy forests. This photograph shows a cutblock where a strip of selection silviculture system was used, was not site prepared and was left to naturally regenerate, resulting in very little regeneration due to grass competition. (Forest Practices Board photo)

A special investigation into interior Douglas-fir forests in B.C. found current efforts may not be leading to future healthy forests. This photograph shows a cutblock where a strip of selection silviculture system was used, was not site prepared and was left to naturally regenerate, resulting in very little regeneration due to grass competition. (Forest Practices Board photo)

Interior Douglas-fir regenerating poses challenges: Forest Practices Board

A special investigation report was released Sept. 17

Douglas-Fir reforestation in dry Interior forests is meeting legal obligations, ‘just barely,’ said Kevin Kriese, Forest Practices Board chair.

“While the trees are there, they are not healthy enough or showing the kind of vigour that you need for a really healthy forest in the long-term,” Kriese told Black Press Media.

“These trees are not going to make the kind of quality of stands that we want in the next 10 or 20 years and certainly not in the medium or long-term.”

His comments come as the FPB released its latest special investigation report — Reforestation in the Douglas-First Subzone — on Sept. 17.

The investigation was of sites logged between 2007 and 2017 in the Cariboo-Chilcotin — 100 Mile House and Williams Lake — Cascades, Thompson Rivers and Okanagan-Shuswap natural resource districts.

“These are the driest sites in the Interior Douglas-fir (IDF) zone and the toughest to reforest in the first place. It is stinking hot and then get a lot of drought,” Kriese said. “Any trees on these sites needs special care and attention.”

Moisture is a big factor and it’s important not to let the grass overtake the trees because it robs a lot of the moisture, he added.

Read more: Forest Practices Board investigates Woodjam watershed for sediment in streams

With climate change, sites are going to get tougher, Kriese said, noting the report is a good reminder that there are places that might be OK today with reforestation success that are going to get hotter and drier in the future.

The investigation did show in the last five years licencees have been doing a better job of planting species other than pine with more planting of Douglas-fir and other resilient species.

“That’s good because there had been a trend in the 10 to 15 years previously of over-reliance on pine. We were happy to find they are moving to other species,” Kriese said.

Kriese said the Ministry of Forests had given out a lot of guidance, trying to encourage licencees to do things differently.

“To some degree that’s had an impact, but you’ll see it hasn’t gone far enough. All of that guidance has not been taken up and delivered on the ground.”

The IDF covers about five per cent of the province, in the central Interior from the Kootenays through the Thompson-Okanagan and north to the Cariboo.

Kriese said licencees are finding it difficult to declare free growing stands in the dry hot sites.

“They will find out 10 years later, they are struggling to get trees to grow.”

Forestry is an art, he added.

“Every site might be a bit different and our report calls for training foresters so they can learn that art for these difficult sites.”

In the near future, FPB will be hosting a webinar and encouraging foresters to attend.

Kriese said the entire board toured the Williams Lake and 100 Mile House areas the second week of September and were very pleased.

Gord Chipman from Alkali Resource Management showed them a couple of sites where ecosystem restoration work is underway and then the board went out past Riske Creek to look at some reforestation after the fires.

Read more: Fuel treatment in Fox Mountain woodlot a multiprong approach


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

2021 Williams Lake Dry Grad Reverse Parade Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Angie Mindus photos - Williams Lake Tribune)
PHOTOS: Graduates line Western Avenue for 2021 Williams Lake Dry Grad Reverse Parade

Community members waited in line in their vehicles to congratulate grads

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Placing hope for the future in our children and their children

I am trying to be sure to include that focus as part of an evolving work/life balance

Graduate Belle Riding is congratulated by Lake City Secondary School learning support teacher Gail Gardner as she makes her way across the stage to receive her diploma. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
2021 Lake City Secondary School grads take centre stage at Williams Lake campus ceremonies

Ceremonies took place over two days, with COVID-19 restrictions in place for second year in a row

BGC Williams Lake Sprockids participants get ready to hit the trails on Fox Mountain May 27 in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Sprockids mountain biking program at BGC Williams Lake provides positive, outdoor outlet for youth

Sprockids aims to give youth the opportunity to saddle up on mountain bikes and hit the trails

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read