Burns Lake Community Forest is entirely encompassed with the sub-boreal spruce zone
Since time immemorial, this environment has been a dynamic fire regenerate and maintained ecosystem. Our landscape-level management strategies mimic this disturbance type to support the thriving ecosystem of plants and animals that it supports.
A pillar of the Community Forest is its approach to maintaining a thriving, healthy, sustainable forest for generations to come.
The BLCF is committed to the protection of biodiversity, ecosystem restoration in areas impacted by the mountain pine beetle, fire, and other landscape disturbance agents by exploring approaches that meet future needs and by maintaining its FSC certification.
Burns Lake Community Forest is home to a diverse mix of wildlife species. From large ungulates, like moose, elk, and deer; to large carnivores, like grizzly bear, black bears, and wolves; to small mammals, like martin and fisher. Our commitments to maintaining and enhancing habitat for all species is supported by our habitat assessments for these key stone species. These assessments guide our operational and tactical planning decisions.
Forests & Wildfire
Burns Lake Community Forest is generally classified to be within the Sub-Boreal Spruce Zone (SBS), with minor high elevation pockets of Engelman Spruce Subalpine Fir ESSF. The dominant SBS forest type is lodgepole pine with the climax species being spruce. The pattern of historical landscape disturbance due to fire and human-related activities is indicative of a highly fragmented landscape. The mean fire return interval is 100-125 years. Fire in these forests is an important and essential component of ecosystem health. Burns Lake Community Forests tactical and operational plans take into consideration the role of fire on the landscape.
Water is an integral component of ecosystem and community health. The Burns Lake Community Forest has a plethora of streams, creeks, and waterbodies large and small through the K1A licence areas. With the adoption of the water stewardship principles of Nadleh Whiten First Nation, and FSC riparian management criteria, BLCF has added an additional 3400ha of riparian protection within the licence area ensuring long-term riparian protection to streams and wetland complexes.
Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) Mitigation Program
In response to impacts of the mountain pine beetle, which killed almost half of the mature timber in the BLCF between 2003 and 2008, successful wood-salvage efforts and forest rehabilitation plans were undertaken that salvaged more than 2.6 million cubic metres of dead pine.
As the “shelf-life” of the salvaged wood decreases, the BLCF plans to implement more sustainable cut levels, while continuing to work to meet the needs of the community. In doing so, the BLCF embarked on a program to mitigate the affects of the mountain pine beetle epidemic through a mitigative strategy. The Mountain Pine Beetle Mitigation Plan brough to fruition the 3 pillars of social, economical, and environmental value considerations to put BLCF on a path of long-term sustainable success.
Through this program, the BLCF explored forest management options to diversify and move beyond the impacts of the mountain pine beetle. We have developed:
- Detailed 5-year tactical and operational harvest plans
- Landscape fire management plan
- Access management plan
- Completed grizzly bear habitat assessments
- Developed business continuity systems
As we implement these plans, communication, collaboration, and environmental stewardship is at the forefront of our decisions making.