UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Assessing the potential impacts of forest management practices on wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, and timber harvesting in coastal British Columbia McLaughlin, Garrett


The forests of coastal British Columbia are some of the most productive in the world, providing a wide range of values including timber production, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat. Forest management often requires weighing competing values and implementing decisions to promote them, while avoiding negative impacts to other values. Forest ecosystems models such as FORECAST and Habitat Suitability Indices provide a means of analyzing alternative management strategies for their impacts on multiple values, and serve as a tool for informing adaptive management decisions. The objectives of this thesis were to model and assess the impacts of different forest management practices on wildlife habitat, carbon storage, and timber harvesting in coastal British Columbia. This analysis consisted of a number of alternative harvesting prescriptions, including clearcut harvesting and low intensity thinning treatments. Each treatment was quantified on its ability to simultaneously generate timber, carbon and habitat value. Results of the study suggest that extension of rotation periods between harvest treatments can provide gains in all three values over shorter rotations. Low intensity thinning treatments can also be applied to further promote habitat value with only minor reductions in carbons stocks. In addition, thinning treatments can decrease the time required to develop high quality habitat over that of either unmanaged or clearcut management. If selectively applied over a landscape scale, these management prescriptions could be used to provide a range of forest values and address a variety of resource demands.

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