Lakes District forest inventory well underway

Forestry crews have been quietly toiling away in Lakes District to develop a new baseline forest inventory for the Lakes Timber Supply Area.

Roman Bilek

Forestry crews have been quietly toiling away in Lakes District backcountry to develop a new baseline forest inventory for the Lakes Timber Supply Area (TSA).

“In the Lakes this last summer we’ve taken aerial photography of the entire Lakes area,” said Pat Martin, Forest Inventory Manager with Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.  “We photographed every inch of the forest area.  Over the next two years forestry inventory specialists will go over all those photographs to identify areas of timber that are similar in terms of height, age and species.  We’ll break down the whole area into stand types to produce a forest area map of the entire region.”

waThe photography is done but interpreting the photographs is not straightforward.  Analysts must be able to account for a lot of detail in data collected not only in the Lakes TSA but throughout the province.  They can’t get out in the field to verify particulars, so that kind of field work was completed locally over the late summer and early fall months.

Photo inventory and interpretation requires a lot of field work.  “The people working with the photographers go into the field quite a bit because they need to calibrate their eyes,” said Martin.  “They will look at what the photo is showing and go to location in the field and make sure that what they think they’re seeing in the photo is what they see in the field.”

These ‘timber cruisers’ or forestry technicians in the current vernacular,  go to randomly selected field locations to get measurements and statistics regarding trees within a plot.  “It’s part of the inventory process,” Martin said. “Field crews go out and accurately measure the trees in a plot for their height, size, timber quality and species composition.”

Plot size isn’t determined before hand.  The actual area of a surveyed plot depends on the size of the trees present, as well as the distance between those trees.

“If you imagine an ‘x’, then one plot is at the centre point and each tip of the ‘x’ represents another plot,” Martin said.  But where those plots are depends on the tree size and location so every plot could be a different size.

This makes for a lot of leg work in terrain that doesn’t necessarily allow for vehicle access.  “Sometimes it’s accessible by road, sometimes by helicopter and sometimes by walking,” said Agathe Bernard, Stewardship Officer with the Forest District of Nadina.

Whatever the mode of travel, timber cruisers have to watch out for bear and lynx and be prepared for a day spent outdoors whatever the weather or mosquito level.

The crews are now finished their field work and samples and data have been shipped off to labs in Victoria.

“We’ll compile that information over the next few months to support decision making in the short term.  The full inventory will be completed over the next two years,” Martin said, “but we expect to have preliminary information by Christmas.”

This quiet forest work offers a lot of jobsatisfaction.  “There’s a satisfaction that comes with knowing what is growing in our forests and doing work that others depend on,” said Bernard.  “And nothing beats working outside.”

 

Just Posted

Six cattle killed on Hungry Hill

After a brief closure Friday the highway is now open to traffic.

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Dolores Funk wins Burns Lake mayoral election

Dolores Funk was elected the new mayor of the village of Burns… Continue reading

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Around the BCHL: Chilliwack Chiefs snag spot in CJHL national rankings

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Rural regions get priority for B.C. referendum mail-out

Ballot security measures aim to protect against voter fraud

B.C.’s natural gas supply could see 50% dip through winter due to pipeline blast

It’s been two weeks since the Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Prince George on Oct. 9, sparking a large fireball

Mega Millions, Powerball prizes come down to math, long odds

Biggest myth: The advertised $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize and $620 million Powerball prize aren’t quite real

2 Canadians advance to finals at world wrestling championships

Olympic champion Erica Wiebe just missed joining them with a loss 3-1 to three-time world champion Adeline Gray of the United States in the 76-kg event

VIDEO: Fire destroys historic small-town B.C. restaurant

Two people were injured as fire ripped through the Hedley restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday

B.C. town’s mayoral race a tie, come down to luck of the draw

Harry Gough led incumbent Cindy Fortin by one vote on election night Saturday

Outdoor retailer MEC vows to boost diversity after online complaint

Mountain Equipment Co-op was criticized for perpetuating a white-only picture of the outdoors

Most Read