Forest Planning Adjustments to Protect Traditional Non-Timber Resources in Northern British Columbia

BURTON, Philip J. - University of Northern British Columbia
BURTON, Carla M. - Symbios Research and Restoration

Timber harvesting is one of the dominant agents of forest change on public lands, and is often in conflict with non-timber resource use. Across northern British Columbia, Canada, there is widespread foraging for berries, mushrooms, medicinal plants, furs and potable water by both Aboriginal and Settler communities. The boundaries of traditional territories historically  managed by First Nations house groups are often appropriate in identifying the spatial arena for sustainability planning. Case studies are presented in which specific non-timber values can be protected simultaneously with management for timber. Altered forest management solutions include deferred harvesting and cut control, partial cutting or variable retention, using or avoiding the use of prescribed fire, reduced forest regeneration stocking levels, directing logging to certain forest age classes or stand types, and selective brushing and spacing. No one set of forest conditions or forest practices can support all non-timber values, so choices have to be made.