|Sponsor:||Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.|
Object & Deliverables
The purpose of this project was to evaluate, re-establish, and re-measure long-term research trials originally established by the Natural Resources Canada (NRC) – Canadian Forest Service (CFS) in the 1950’s and 1960’s to investigate natural regeneration in shelterwood and seed tree retention systems. These alternative silvicultural systems are of interest to companies involved in the development of mixedwood management strategies.
Exploring mixedwood management strategies such as understory protection, shelterwood, seed tree retention, and planting of white spruce under aspen canopies involves lengthy field trials over several decades. Instead of starting new trials and waiting several decades for results, it is more advantageous to evaluate, re-establish, and re-measure existing long-term research trials. In 1998, a search and inventory of old research sites within and near the Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. (Al-Pac) forest management agreement (FMA) area was carried out by Al-Pac.
The project objective was to demonstrate actual long-term conifer and deciduous survival and growth and yield response to a variety of mixedwood harvesting, silviculture and site preparation techniques through re-measurements of select trials.
CFS research inventories were examined to develop a list of candidate studies in the region for re-measurement evaluation, or mixedwood management demonstration. From initial inspection of the CFS archives, eleven studies were deemed to have some potential. These studies were then examined in more detail with respect to study objectives, experimental layout, and previous data and findings.
A field reconnaissance of all applicable sites was done following this pre-screening, which included finding and relocating those studies where specific locations were not known. Study boundaries, layouts, and plot design were determined on the ground for evaluation as to re-measurement and technical transfer potential. Recommendation and priority for re-measurement and demonstration value was presented to all project partners with the acceptance of five appropriate trials which were re-established and four were re-measured during the 1999 field season. The fifth site was slated for possible future re-measurement. After completion of data collection, a formal trail system was established at each site with appropriate templates and signage for technical transfer to end users.
The results of this project are captured in a May 2000 report entitled “Re-measurement of Canadian Forest Service Mixedwood Management Research Sites: Athabasca to Slave Lake Corridor” authored by the Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service.