In recent years a number of Ecosystem Restoration (Ecological Restoration) projects have been undertaken in the Boundary area, closely following the examples of projects in the Kootenay Trench area where projects have a 12 year or more record.
The effectiveness and “success” of these projects is questionable. It is apparent from reports, “reading between the lines of reports” and talking to land managers, that planned objectives are rarely met, and that the same old stories of cattle and wildlife competition (in the Kootenays) are unresolved.
In the Boundary our observations of various projects are that excessive thinning and removal of forest have detrimentally affected wildlife habitat in a variety of ways.
Funding for these projects has drawn on various public funded sources with significant contributions from the Habitat Conservation Fund which is largely funded by hunter/fisher contributions. In our view the extent to which projects have detrimentally affected wildlife habitat has not yet been recognized by those interested in protecting and enhancing wildlife habitat. We are working on it.
Our new article focuses on the Johnstone Creek Park project, west of Rock Creek.
See full article and pictures here.
An area designated as Important Ungulate Winter Range and an important wildlife corridor. This treed area was the only substantial north south wildlife corridor west to Osoyoos, North to Westbridge and East to Greenwood.
The Park is being logged heavily to the point that the important aspects of Important Ungulate Winter Range are being trashed, with removal of any effective snow interception cover, thermal cover and security cover.
The rational for this and similar projects is “returning” an area to some previous, unspecified point in time when the forest may have been more “open.”
“When invoking some ‘desirable” point in time to recreate, plan authors need to not only document the period and the specifics, but consider the intervention on a landscape scale, recognizing adjacent and area changes that have occurred, transforming surrounding areas.
Forest removal by agriculture, forest removal for commercial use, much of it clearcuts, except for local woodlot treatments that generally provide thinning while retaining favourable wildlife habitat. Substantial forest loss to wildfire.
After recognizing these changes, planners might better "see" the value of a forested remnant area like Johnstone Creek.
A couple of before and after pictures from the Johnstone Creek Project:
|West end of Johnstone Creek Park before logging|
|After logging. This tree density provides no effective snow interception cover,|
thermal cover or security cover.
For the full article and pictures: here