LANDSCAPE LEVEL PLANNING
Landscape-level planning (LLP) is the art and science of developing land management plans for extensive areas. Landscape-level planning is based on the concepts of landscape ecology, the study of how biota, materials and energy exist and flow within landscapes.
Humans are part of the planetary landscape and our impacts on natural patterns are now key factors that influence how landscapes function.
Landscape ecology helps identify our past failings, as well as identify better approaches that can meet human needs without unsustainable impacts on natural systems. Goals of landscape-level planning are to protect key components of the landscape ecosystem and to retain pathways for animate and inanimate movements.
A further goal is to direct human activities away from areas that will be ecologically degraded by those activities.
A “landscape” does not have a defined size, and LLP can occur at various spatial scales. SIFCo carried out an initial landscape-level mapping and planning process on the area within its Community Forest Agreement (CFA).
We know that the CFA affects and is affected by the areas outside of the SIFCo landbase, but we chose to focus on the area within the CFA at this time, as we have little control over management choices in the surrounding areas.
The mapping and analysis process extended over the entire CFA.
The LLP is based on a combination of air photo interpretation, field work, and pre-existing map data sets.
The LLP is an ongoing exercise. As we continue to learn about the land within the CFA, we will continue to modify the LLP.
The Landscape Level Plan shows Terrain Stability and Ecological Sensitivity Interpretations as follows:
protected old forest areas
protected riparian ecosystems
areas which are not forested
areas of steep slopes and/or shallow soils which are not suitable for development
economically inaccessible areas, and
stable and moderately stable areas that are potentially suited to timber management.
To view a map that shows Old Growth Forest Management areas and Ungulate Winter ranges click here.
100% of our Land base is in consumptive use watersheds. To view a map of our watersheds click here.
The LLP also delineates the areas that will be left “as is” within the CFA, and show the areas that could be under consideration for timber harvesting.
It also shows relatively recent clearcuts or aggressive partial cuts, logged since 1960, in red crosshatching.
These are areas that most observers would quickly identify as logged. They usually contain young trees, but have not hydrologically recovered and do not contain a range of natural forest structures (large live trees, large dead standing trees, and large fallen trees).
The mapping of logged areas does not show the full extent of old logging activity in the CFA as there are few lower elevation forests in the CFA have not been logged in the last century.
Old partial cutting and highgrading tended, however, to leave a range of forest structures, and/or happened so long ago that the forests on the site have regrown diverse structure and composition.
Most observers would not identify these areas as logged until they noticed the old, moss covered stumps. These areas are not included in the logged areas crosshatching.
The Maps Forest Cover Constraints shows the areas over which Provincial regulations that limit timber harvesting to protect ungulate winter range and visual quality apply.
SIFCo believes that our baseline approach to forestry operations to meet community concerns will meet or exceed these provincial regulations.