British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Skid road rehabilitation techniques for restoring productivity in the B.C. interior Curran, Michael Patrick; Dykstra, Pamela


Ground based harvesting, or ground skidding, is still an acceptable harvesting method on gentler slopes and on less sensitive soils. Skid road rehabilitation is a relatively new treatment; for excavated and bladed trails, rehabilitation became a requirement on many sites under the 1995 Forest Practices Code. It will be required on all sites by June 15, 1998. In order to evaluate how trees have been growing on skidroad rehab, we have sampled sites in the east and west Kootenay that are as old as 1984. These sites are growing trees, and with improved techniques, applied to the least sensitive sites, we don't see any problems restoring soil productivity. More sensitive sites still need more study at this time. Successful skid road rehabilitation starts with a good understanding of the site condition and management constraints. Proper construction is key. Removal of woody debris and outsloping decompaction will ensure drainage restoration, along with regularly spaced, open waterbars. Replacing soil horizons in reverse order with minimal mixing will help restore topsoil, which is then protected and augmented with woody debris and slash loading similar to the surrounding area.

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