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

16. Landscape Unit Plans and Old Growth Management Areas

Now that we’ve delved into BEC zones, subzones, and landscape units, let’s turn our attention to policies and protection areas.

Provincial policy for biodiversity protection in BC’s forested landscapes is to establish Landscape Unit Plans that protect representative stands of old growth (OGMA-Old Growth Management Area) in each biogeoclimatic sub zone within each Landscape Unit.

For example…

Landscape Unit Plans have been established in 18 of 24 landscapes in the SCNRD. A number of other Landscape Units have draft plans awaiting designation.

Each Landscape Unit is assigned a Biodiversity Emphasis Option (BEO): High, Medium or Low. Half of the Landscape Units fall into the Low BEO category, meaning these areas would require less OGMA designations than those which fall in a medium or high BEO category.  

To have areas designated as OGMA in any of the BEO’s, the stand (groups of trees) would have to follow a set of priorities: 

  • Inoperable old growth stands are given 1st priority for selection.
  • Old growth stands that are already constrained are the 2nd priority.
  • Where there is insufficient old growth inventory to meet LU Plan targets, younger stands are “recruited” from inoperable or constrained younger stands.
  • Only after all criteria are met can harvestable old growth be selected as OGMA.

Let's look at a map of the OGMAs of the SCNRD.

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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