Beautiful path in a forest during a vibrant summer day. Taken in Raft Cove Provincial Park, Northern Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

23. Biodiversity in Coastal Forests: Conclusions

Thank you for following along our journey of Biodiversity in Coastal Forests. To recap, here are the topics we explored:

  • Geographic and Political map of the Sunshine Coast Natural Resource District (SCNRD)
  • Biogeoclimatic (BEC) Zones
  • BEC Subzones of the SCNRD
  • Landscape Units (LU) of the SCNRD
  • Further exploration of the Chapman LU
  • Further exploration of the Sechelt LU
  • Age classes of the SCNRD
  • Landscape Unit Plans
  • Old Growth Management Areas (OGMA)
  • Fisheries Sensitive Watersheds (FSW)
  • Marbled Murrelet nesting habitat in the SCNRD
  • Mountain Goat Winter Ranges (MGWR) of the SCNRD

As we've noted in the preceding pages, the key points to keep in mind are:

  1. It is a physical impossibility to represent the existing diversity of species, communities and ecosystems in viable patches with less than at least 30% of the forested land base.
  2. Currently, provincial parks occupy about 3% of the land base in the Sunshine Coast Forest District. Draft and designated OGMAs, WHAs and MGWRs occupy approximately an additional 10% which is totally inadequate for biodiversity protection.
  3. The areas protected as OGMA, and to some extent WHAs and MGWRs, were located to avoid conflict with logging interests and consequently represent mostly poor and low productivity sites. Productive sites lack adequate representation.
  4. The approach of Landscape Unit planning is valid but the amount of land protected is entirely inadequate.
  5. The situation in the lower elevation BEC subzones is particularly dire as so much land has been converted to non-forest uses and the inventory of old growth remaining is generally around (or below) 3% in most of the Landscape Units in the forest district.
  6. Biodiversity loss has already had severe ecological and economic consequences. This is the most readily obvious in regard to our major salmon bearing watersheds. Entire runs have been lost and only remnant populations remain. Jobs in the forest industry have declined steadily and both the commercial and sport salmon fishery have almost entirely disappeared in this region.

Our society needs to have a new land use ethic, one that respects life and the limits of the natural world.

The emerging crisis of human-caused climate change demands that we reconsider our currently consumptive uses of forestland and that we make a transition to management of our natural resources in a genuinely and ecologically sustainable manner.

Thanks for your attention to these important issues!

Click the blue box above to view a list of pages in this section of the website.

Glossary of Terms

Biomass: refers to the total amount of organic matter (i.e., anything that comes from plants and animals). 

Biogeoclimatic (BEC) Zone: the classification system used to identify an area based on the dominant type of vegetation, climate, and soil characteristics at its climax 

Climax Old-Growth: the final stage of a forest stand when left undisturbed by humans 

Biogeoclimatic Zone Abbreviations

  • AT: Alpine Tundra
  • BG: Bunchgrass
  • BWBS: Boreal White and Black Spruce
  • CDF: Coastal Douglas-Fir
  • CWH: Coastal Western Hemlock
  • ESSF: Engelmann Spruce - Subalpine Fir
  • ICH: Interior Cedar - Hemlock
  • IDF: Interior Douglas-Fir
  • MH: Mountain Hemlock
  • MS: Montane Spruce
  • PP: Ponderosa Pine
  • SBPS: Sub-Boreal Pine - Spruce
  • SBS: Sub-Boreal Spruce
  • SWB: Spruce - Willow - Birch

Landscape Units of the SCNRD

  • Bishop
  • Brem
  • Brittain
  • Bunster
  • Bute East
  • Bute West
  • Chapman
  • Cortes
  • Haslam
  • Homathko
  • Homfray
  • Howe
  • Jervis
  • Lois
  • Narrows
  • Quatam

Biogeoclimatic Subzone Codes

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