4. Forest inventory linked to ecosites. 5. Forest inventory is reliable. The vintage and quality of the Forest Inventory (FI) for the province varies 86 . There is a base FI provided by the province for planning purposes, however, interviews suggest that this may be enhanced through additional funds/resources provided by licence holders for the purposes of their operational planning. Depending on the work that licence holders have done, there may be links to an ecosite classification within the FI. In that respect, Manitoba has not yet developed its own ecosite classification system and uses northwestern Ontario’s “bluebook” for developing site- specific silvicultural prescriptions. 6. Cutblock size designed to emulate natural disturbance. 7. Cutblock shape designed to emulate natural disturbance. 8. Tree and residual structure retention standards emulating natural disturbance. Because there is no landscape level direction, the implementation of standards for elements like cut size, shape and distribution are determined through informal policies that have evolved over time. Regarding cutblock size, it has been limited in the past through the “line of sight” requirement in the Wildlife Guide (e.g. not greater than 100 ha) but more recently, internal direction provides that 20% of cutblocks can be up to 250 ha in size 87 . There may be exceptions for forest health and/or deviations as approved by government. Direction for achieving a more natural cutblock shape is prescribed only by the Wildlife Guide as follows: “Cutblocks should have irregular boundaries to break line of sight and maximize edge effect to benefit wildlife” . The distribution of cuts is also addressed in the Wildlife Guide, which provides general direction on the size and composition of leave blocks for species of concern (moose, caribou, elk, white- tailed deer) as well as guidance for cutting in riparian zones. While the province has made progress on new guides in recent years, the 1989 Wildlife Guide is dated and provides very little scientific rationale for the standards it includes. As a guide, it provides the basis for both the limited landscape and stand/site level standards that are currently prescribed. At the same time, this represents an opportunity in that plan proponents in Manitoba 86 Government of Manitoba. The Evolution of Manitoba’s Forest Inventory. 2013. . pdf . Accessed March 9, 2013. 87 Personal communication. Forestry Branch, March 2013.
70 have great flexibility in designing their own planning approach and some have attempted to do so. For the company’s last 20 year plan, LP Canada Ltd., for example, enlisted the assistance of external experts to assist in the development of more detailed biodiversity management strategies.
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