Harrop-Procter Community Forest employs an ecosystem-based approach to forest management. Our approach begins with a comprehensive assessment of our 11,300 ha landbase that considers a broad range of ecological and social forest values.
When HPCF was in the process of applying for a community forest license in the late 1990’s, we approached Silva Forest Foundation, a leader in ecosystem-based forest conservation and management, to develop an Ecosystem-based Plan for the community forest. This plan, based on the principles of landscape ecology and conservation biology, took a precautionary approach to protecting water quality, wildlife habitat, old growth forests and structures, and biodiversity.
In 2012 HPCF developed a new management plan, based on the same core values and principles developed in the late 1990’s. Our management plan incorporates detailed land base information, including new terrain, soils, timber, and ecosystem data. The new Management Plan also addresses aspects of climate change and ecosystem resilience.
Our detailed analysis of our landbase indicates that 70% of our community forest is not suitable for timber management, either because it is too sensitive, contains critical wildlife habitat, or is economically inaccessible. Riparian and headwaters areas, old growth forests, potentially unstable terrain, low productivity sites, and caribou habitat are all reserved.
Stand-level forestry operations
Based on the results of our landscape-level forest assessments, approximately 30% of our landbase that can support sustainable timber management. These areas are subject to more detailed site assessments of terrain, soils, ecosystems, timber, and wildlife habitat. Stand-level reserves are identified to protect small riparian areas, sensitive soils, old growth features, and wildlife habitat.
HPCF utilizes a broad range of silvicultural systems and harvest methods, based on forest type, terrain, site sensitivity, soil moisture, and forest health considerations. All of our harvesting operations utilize partial cutting techniques to retain mature trees dispersed throughout the harvest area.
The majority of our harvesting to date has been high-retention single-tree or small group selection, with 60% retention of canopy trees. We have also used small patch logging, mixed-retention shelterwood logging, and low-retention seed tree logging in dry lodgepole-pine and Douglas-fir dominated stands. All of our logging attempts to mimic natural forest disturbances.