|Sponsor:||West Fraser Mills Ltd.|
West Fraser Mills Ltd. (West Fraser) is committed to sustainably managing our forest tenures in the S10 Forest Management Unit (FMU). To maximize the potential of the land base, West Fraser initiated a volume sampling program focused on the coniferous timber to support both tactical operations as well as long term strategic planning for both the sustainable timber supply and non-timber ecosystem values.
The objectives of the project were to:
1. Develop a timber sampling program with supporting manuals and quality control guidance to achieve both the tactical and strategic planning requirements,
2. Carry out a field sampling program to capture the required data,
3. Implement a comprehensive quality control management system to ensure data reliability, and
4. Compile the data into a usable format with a final report providing proof of project achievement.
The area of interest for this project is the Forest Management Unit S10. FMU S10 spreads across more than 40 separate townships, totalling 408,251 ha. A total of 345 temporary sample plots (TSPs) were installed within randomly selected stands within FMU S10. The candidate stands were selected using a stratified random sampling technique within the operable forested landbase. The random sampling technique factors in the probability proportional to stand size, where larger stands would have a higher probability of being sampled.
Once field data was collected, the tree data was then compiled at the plot level to produce inputs that were then used in the Growth and Yield Projection System (GYPSY) model to be used to forecast stand yields and to validate forecasted yields against observed values. The compilation process calculated an average density and volume, as well as a species-specific top height, site index and age.
Prior to this project, there has not been a substantial number of forest plot data collected in the FMU, as such this data will be critical to informing future management decisions in S10. This data will be used by management companies in the area to develop localized yield curves using Alberta’s Growth and Yield Projection System (GYPSY), the outputs of which will be compared for bias against the observed data collected during this field program.
TSP Data, Raw Tree Data, Natural and Managed Yield Curves