British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

An overview of forest soil rehabilitation in the BC interior Bulmer, Charles Ernest


Interest in forest soil rehabilitation has increased during the 1990's as a result of requirements within the Forest Practices Code (FPC) and because of recent investments made by Forest Renewal BC. Our understanding of what is required to successfully restore productivity to degraded forest soils is limited because (1) few research projects were initiated during the past decade, (2) the range of site types studied so far is limited, and (3) many of the questions we ask about these projects require information on long-term tree growth response, which can only be collected as fast as the trees grow. This paper outlines the history of forest soil rehabilitation in BC, discusses growth- limiting conditions that need to be overcome for success, and describes three groups of techniques for restoring productivity, including tillage, topsoil replacement, and reforestation / revegetation. This paper summarizes the results of a problem analysis carried out during 1996 to examine existing information and assess the need for new information to improve the results and cost-effectiveness of soil rehabilitation efforts.

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