Stumpage and tenure issues affecting Wildland Urban Interface fuel treatments in British Columbia
By Thomas Hobby
Rural British Columbia communities are increasingly threatened by catastrophic wildfires and annual fire suppression costs within British Columbia have been above average when compared against previous decades. To reduce these threats, many local and regional governments have developed community wildfire protection plans (CWPPs) and operational fuel treatments. CWPPs and fuel treatment are critical steps for effectively reducing hazardous fuel and once implemented can reduce fire suppression and othermarket and non-market costs. Within British Columbia, there are approximately 1.65 million hectares of high and moderate fuel hazards within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) that need fuel treatments and over the 2004-2011 period, 43,000 hectares of land have been treated (approx. 2.5% of total WUI). WUI is defined as an area where human development meets or is intermingled with forest and grassland fuel types (Forest Practices Board 2010). Fuel hazard reduction projects have been implemented by community groups via logging for saw-logs, pulp, and more recently, pellet and bioenergy production, in an attempt to meet fuel treatment objectives.
Other methods such as mastication, hand slashing, piling, and burning have also been fuel treatment methods used. Treatment costs across British Columbia vary widely and depend upon factors such as the quality of the fibre, stems per hectare, mean diameters, and other factors. Regardless of cost, most fuel treatment work to date has required subsidies to reach the intended objectives.
Guest Editorial: Variegated NTFP Resource Deserves Creative Management
By Bruce Fraser
Bringing non-timber forest products (NTFPs) into the mainstream forest management and the provincial economy is a challenge of major proportions. Many of the factors that affect harvesting, marketing, and maintenance of NTFP crops—a subset of non-timber forest resources (NTFRs)—are hidden in unrecorded traditional uses by First Nations, in the informal and underground economy of subsistence harvesters, in recreational pursuits, and in scientific obscurity. What evidence we have for the value to society of NTFPs is often so lightly documented that it is difficult to make a case for attention amid the clamour arising from traditional resource industries. Making room in our forest management for poorly documented resources that exhibit cultural, economic, ecological, and management complexity demands a high level of effort. Complexity is not, however, a reason to ignore the great potential of treating our forest land as a richly variegated resource that will benefit from an equally variegated approach to management.
A Black Huckleberry Case Study in the Kootenays Region of British Columbia
By Tom Hobby, Michael Keefer
This case study explores the commercial development of black huckleberries (Vaccinium membranaceum Dougl.) in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. Black huckleberries have a long history of human and wildlife use, and there are increasing demands on the resource in the region. Conflicts between commercial, traditional, and recreational users have emerged over expanding the harvest of this non-timber forest product (NTFP). This case study explores the potential for expanding huckleberry commercialization by examining the potential management and policy options that would support a sustainable commercial harvest. The article also reviews trends and issues within the huckleberry sector and ecological research currently conducted within the region.
Commercial Development Morels in the East Kootenay, British Columbia
Commercial Development of Salal on South Vancouver Island
Chanterelle Mushrooms on Vancouver Island, British Columbia