Exploring Spatial Habitat Modeling for Woodlot Management in the Fraser Valley, BC.
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Climate change and competing land use needs continue to drive change in forest management in British Columbia. Balancing these needs in the face of a diminishing timber harvesting land base presents ongoing challenges for forest managers. This is especially true for small, area based tenures. Overlapping or competing land use values, such as Species at Risk habitat, can have a disproportionate effect on their management and viability. While government and industry processes exist for optimizing competing objectives while still managing for timber, they are largely tailored at a scale and magnitude suited to major industry and not small area-based tenures. This case study explores the potential of adapting one such process, the Stewardship/Timber Harvesting Landbase (THLB) Stabilization Pilot process, to small tenures using spatial modelling. Focusing on a Woodlot Licence in the Fraser Valley, predictive habitat models were developed for two Species at Risk using readily available software and data. Although spatial correlation of model results with known habitat reserves was inconclusive, models show promise as cost-effective tools for small tenure managers to visualize ecosystem values and their management implications.