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Design of regeneration standards to sustain boreal mixedwoods in western Canada

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This paper examines issues that should be addressed in the design of regeneration standards for the sustainable management of boreal mixedwood stands. To illustrate concepts, a new system is proposed for setting boreal mixedwood regeneration standards. The proposed system is developed using a framework for creating standards that derives from the discipline of performance measurement. From a consideration of the goal of regeneration and the key factors that determine goal achievement, three performance measures that operate at the multi-block scale are proposed: i) the percent of the harvested area that is stocked, ii) the percent of the harvested area in mixed (deciduous and coniferous) patches, and iii) the percent of the harvested area dominated by free-growing conifers. Minimum and maximum acceptable levels are chosen for each performance measure. When these measures are within prescribed ranges, harvested areas are considered satisfactorily regenerated, the post-harvest condition is expected to produce the desired future forest, and reforestation is contributing to sustainability. Mixedwood regeneration standards currently used in western Canada are reviewed. The proposed system is compared to mixedwood regeneration standards currently used in British Columbia. Aspects of the proposed system requiring refinement, and insights into the design of regeneration standards provided by the field of performance measurement, are also discussed.
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Keywords: boreal mixedwood; multi-block; performance measure; regeneration standards; sustainable forest management

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: BC Ministry of Forests, Box 9513 Stn. Prov. Govt., Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 9C2, Canada.

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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