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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Burns bog : a proposal for ecological restoration and visitor centre design Howie, Sarah Amy

Abstract

Using Bums Bog as a case study, this project aims to illustrate the environmental and social importance of ecological restoration, to research the physical methods of bog restoration, and to design a simple visitor centre and recreation trail network. Burns Bog is a raised peat bog with a distinctive chemistry, form, flora, and large size that make it globally unique. The Bog may soon be protected as park or open space by a government purchase of a large portion of its land mass. Burns Bog has been disturbed in the past, primarily by peat extraction, and requires both restoration and management to ensure its long-term viability. Restoration in this thesis is divided into hydrology and vegetation. The key issue regarding hydrology is the loss of water through drainage ditches. I recommend that all ditches be properly blocked and that a number of sites in the Bog be rewetted using other methods, such as bunding and peat removal, to raise the water table level. The existing composition of plant communities in Burns Bog is very diverse, due to the results of past disturbances. I propose vegetative restoration for a number of sites in the Bog. I also suggest that the current level of plant community diversity is valuable for wildlife habitat and future tourism, and recommend that managers maintain this diversity within the foreseeable future (50-100 years). The last portion of this thesis is a proposal for a visitor centre and trail system design, the purpose of which is to allow maximum public access to Burns Bog while minimizing impact on the bog ecosystem.

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