BC Ministry of Forests
The BC Ministry of Forests engaged ESSA to help synthesize over a decade of research into the effects of logging on fish habitat in coastal watersheds of British Columbia in the form of an integrated decision support tool. ESSA held several workshops, technical meetings and expert elicitation exercises with more than 20 scientists participating from government, universities and industry having expertise in forest harvesting, forest ecology, soil erosion, hydrology, stream channel geomorphology, and fisheries biology. The outcome of these meetings was a detailed conceptual design for an overall management tool consisting of three submodels and the interactions amongst them: 1) a forest/upslope submodel; 2) a channel submodel; and 3) a fish submodel. The resulting simulation model, FFIP-MM, integrates the complex chain of processes that links upslope logging activities with distant changes in fish habitat. The model provides a powerful means of exploring these connections through space and time in a manner which accounts for uncertainty and probabilistic events. The results of the preliminary application of FFIP-MM to Carnation Creek approximated many of the observed trends in large woody debris and sediment volumes. Next steps include a formal evaluation strategy to refine the expert rules, model parameters and functional relationships.
FFIP-MM helps inform forest managers about the impacts of alternative timber extraction plans to enable better decisions surrounding sustainable forest ecosystem management.