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Forest Ecosystem Science Co-operative Inc.: Landscape Scale Effects of Disturbance on Aquatic Systems

Project Overview

Forest Ecosystem Science Co-operative Inc. will receive a total of $32,000 over two years, beginning in 2012, to test how current forest management practices, including those required in the SFI Standard, mimic natural disturbance patterns in the boreal region in Ontario, and to make recommendations on how harvesting practices can better mitigate impacts on forest hydrology.

Supporting the SFI Standard

The project will support four of the principles of the SFI 2010-2014 Standard: Principle 1: Sustainable Forestry; Principle 3: Protection of Water Resources; Principle 4: Protection of Biological Diversity; Principle 10: Research; and Principle 14: Continual Improvement. It also relates to elements of the following standard requirements: Objective 3: Protection and Maintenance of Water Resources; Objective 4: Conservation of Biological Diversity including Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value; Objective 18: Public Land Management Responsibilities; and Objective 15: Forestry Research, Science and Technology.

Project Partners

In addition to Forest Ecosystem Science Co-operative Inc., partners include Ainsworth Engineered Canada LP, Domtar Inc., Miisun Integrated Resource Management Inc., Resolute Forest Products, Wagner Ontario Forest Management Ltd., Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd., Ontario SFI Implementation Committee, Canadian Forest Service, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Lakehead University, EACOM Forest Products, and Hearst Forest Management.

Project Details

The project will examine how well Ontario's current forest management practices emulate natural disturbance patterns within watersheds in the boreal region, and their effectiveness in protecting water resources, aquatic habitat and biological diversity in riparian areas. There will be two related studies – a landscape scale study encompassing 34 million hectares (84 million acres) of Ontario's boreal forest and a watershed scale study focusing on selected small watersheds within several forest management units.

The research offers an opportunity to recommend improvements to provincial regulations and SFI requirements regarding boreal forest best management practices, and to forest management planning and operations to mitigate impacts on forest hydrology. The study will also model how climate change may alter the natural variability in disturbance patterns and associated hydrologic impacts.

About Forest Ecosystem Science Co-operative Inc.

Forest Ecosystem Science Co-operative Inc. is a partnership of organizations investing in forest science initiatives for the purpose of supporting sustainable forest management in Ontario and reducing uncertainties associated with forest management decisions. This unique forum includes representatives from the forest industry, provincial and federal governments, and consulting firms.

 

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