Preferred Forest Management Scenario
The Preferred Forest Management Scenario (PFMS) develops a harvesting plan that is a balance of the environmental, economic, and social values of the forest. Computer models are used to identify a roadmap of what to harvest and when. This scenario includes details of how much timber volume to harvest of each tree species across the Forest Management Agreement area, and at what times during the next 200 years. Companies are required to plan over this 200 year timeline to ensure sustainablity.
The Preferred Forest Management Scenario (PFMS) determines the location and the amount of timber to be harvested over the next 10 years at which point a new Forest Management Plan and PFMS is required. The PFMS is the outcome from the development of a harvesting plan that is a balance of the environmental, economic, and social values across the landscape of the Slave Lake Region. It is the PFMS that provides the local forest companies with secure access to economic fibre for the next 10 year period while addressing both timber and non-timber values. The harvest level allows for the forest industry to invest and maintain their facilities while providing more than 750 direct and greater than an additional 2000 indirect jobs within the Slave Lake Region related to ongoing forest management activities. Computer models are used to identify a roadmap of what to harvest and when. This includes details of how much timber volume of each tree species to harvest across the Forest Management Agreement area, and at what periods over 200 years. Companies are required to plan over this 200-year timeline for sustainability of both the harvest level and maintenance of other non-timber values while adhering to the concept to continual improvement, replanning every 10 years and with ongoing checks and balances of how the plan is implemented.
Spatial timber supply modeling was used to evaluate outcomes from different management activities and to conduct trade-offs between various timber and non-timber values for each Forest Management Unit (FMU) within the region. Modelling was completed at the FMU level as annual allowable cuts are approved for each FMU. Individual FMU results were combined into a regional model to allow wildlife habitat and other non-timber values to be assessed at the broader landscape level. The outcome from this process is a PFMS for each FMU, which contains the timber harvesting schedule and regeneration activities planned for the next ten years, as well as predictions for the long-term sustainable harvest level and the impacts on other values over the 200-year time period.
Included in the PFMS are:
- Landscape level objectives
- Prompt regeneration of all harvested areas,
- Maintenance of tree species proportions,
- Application of Government caribou range strategies,
- Structure retention within harvest areas,
- Retention of older seral stages,
- Predictions of wildlife habitat, using the GoA’s non-timber assessment (NTA) tools and indicators,
- Minimizing watershed runoff risk, using the GoA’s Equivalent Clearcut Area (ECA) methodology, with particular focus on identified flood prone and important water source watersheds,
- Establishment of no harvest riparian buffers,
- Inclusion of protected areas without harvesting,
- Maintenance of minimum merchantable timber growing stock levels, and
- Reduction of mountain pine beetle susceptible stands in select FMUs.
- Operational level objectives
- Operability of the Spatial Harvest Sequence (SHS),
- Sequence unused volumes requested by timber operators,
- Incorporate existing planned blocks and fire salvage from the MacMillan fire,
- Maintenance of minimum harvest ages from previous plans, and
- Capture the impact of regenerated stand yields and planting of improved stock, where applicable.