Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Northern Wildfire Resilience Initiative

The NWRI is a collaborative initiative led by the Bulkley Valley Research Centre with key local players to promote a collective response to partnerships, practices, policies, and planning paradigms that will increase the resiliency of Northern BC’s forests and communities to wildfires. The NWRI members came to consensus on the need for a new approach to wildfire management. Additionally, key provincial government officials committed to a landscape-level planning pilot to increase landscape wildfire resiliency.

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Featured Research

Whitebark Pine Restoration

Led by Sybille Haeussler, PhD, UNBC, Smithers

The BVRC, led by Sybille Haussler, PhD and BVRC member, has been restoring endangered whitebark pine ecosystems in the mountains of northern BC since 2011. 2018 is anticipated to be the largest cone crop since 2007.

Because the pines are dying from the white pine blister rust, good cone crops occur intermittently and it is essential to undertake as large a collection as possible. The goal for 2018 is to collect 1 million seeds.

Featured Event

Do Birds Need Trees? Long-term Response to Forest Retention

Wednesday May 22, 2019  12:00pm-1:00pm

The Old Church - Smithers, BC

Retention forestry aims to maintain biodiversity within managed stands. We followed breeding birds over 25 years after harvest within stands with 0% (clearcut), 40%, 70% and 100% (unharvested control) retention. Response varied with habitat preference. Conifer-forest species declined after harvest. Open-habitat and generalist species increased in clearcuts and 40% retention stands. Mixed-forest species reached their highest abundance at 40% retention. Although conifer-forest, open-habitat and generalist species treated retention stands as intermediate between clearcuts and controls, mixed-forest species perceived them as a different, preferred habitat for the first decade. We conclude that most forest birds equate 70% retention stands with unharvested forest, that 40% retention can reduce impacts for conifer-forest birds and provide new habitat for mixed-forest and open-habitat species, and that bird communities are still changing after 24 years.