British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Standard procedures for habitat monitoring in British Columbia Bonner, Lynne


The complexity of ecosystem management in British Columbia requires an adaptive approach of inventory, planning, monitoring, evaluating and revised planning. Monitoring is a key part of this process and resource managers need practical tools for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of management practices such as wildlife habitat enhancement or rehabilitation treatments. A carefully designed habitat monitoring program documenting temporal changes in vegetation and site conditions will indicate whether or not the habitat management objectives have been achieved. For habitat monitoring to be useful, information must be collected systematically and consistently so that comparisons can be made before and after the treatment. Recently, a joint effort between the Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks and the Ministry of Forests has lead to the development of the Procedures for Environmental Monitoring in Range and Wildlife Habitat Management (Habitat Monitoring Committee, 1990). This manual provides a series of standard definitions, procedures and forms for collecting data on changes in vegetative cover resulting from timber removal, site rehabilitation, prescribed burning, planting, brushing or stand tending. Monitoring requirements for activities such as grazing, herbicide or fertilization application, and water level manipulation are also addressed. The manual includes guidelines for site selection and sampling design. A computerized database has been developed in conjunction with the manual. Information from the data forms can be entered into the Habitat Monitoring Data Base for storage, analysis and comparison with similar projects.

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