Ministry Home
Environmental Stewardship Division Ministry Home Ministry Home
Biodiversity Home
Whats New Biodiversity Publications Sitemap Contacts FAQ  
Ministry of Environment Authorities - Home
Categories of Species
Ungulate Winter Range
Identified Wildlife Management Strategy – Wildlife Habitat Areas
Approved Wildlife Habitat Areas and regionally proposed WHAs
Accounts & Measures
Establishment of Wildlife Habitat Areas
Identified Wildlife Management Strategy 2004
Identified Wildlife Management Strategy 2001 (Vol 1)
Fisheries Sensitive Watersheds
Notices - FPPR Section 7 and WLPPR Section 9
Wildlife Habitat Features
Temperature Sensitive Streams
Community Watershed Water Quality Objectives
Related Links
More Information

Identified Wildlife Management Strategy

IWMS Implementation Updates
(as related to IWMS Vol. I)

Antelope brush
Photo by Jared Hobbs

Updates on the implementation of the Identified Wildlife Management Strategy Volume I will be posted to this site.  The purpose of these updates is to provide government staff as well as stakeholders with new information as the strategy unfolds and to facilitate effective and consistent implementation. The information provided on this site has been approved by the Forest Practices Code Joint Management Committee. Please bookmark this page and check for updates. The following updates are a result of the 30 forest district training sessions that were conducted during April and May (1999).

I.   Procedures

Step 3:  WHA consultation process   Updated Jan. 26, 2000

Monitoring timber supply impacts  Updated Jan. 26, 2000

Interim measures   Updated Jan. 13, 2000

II.   General wildlife measures

Bull Trout - access measure   Updated Oct 1, 1999

Queen Charlotte & Northern Goshawk - silviculture measure  Updated Oct 1, 1999

Queen Charlotte & Northern Goshawk - seral stage definitions  Updated Nov. 1, 2000

III.   Higher level plan recommendations

To the top of the page

Bull Trout Updated Oct 1, 1999

I.  Procedures

Step 3:  WHA consultation process

(Procedures and Measures:  pages 11 - 13)

The kinds of decisions for which governments seek public involvement range from the general to the specific. In the instance of Identified Wildlife, the level of involvement could be categorized as specific--specific to the Forest Practices Code and specific to a particular area. The consultation process does not involve policy development but rather is intended to gather as much factual information which will then be passed onto the statutory decision makers (Chief Forester and Deputy Minister, Water, Land and Air Protection) who must consider it when evaluating a proposed WHA. The intent of soliciting comment on proposed WHAs then is to "gather information and perspectives" in order to supplement other sources of information. Step 3 in the Identified Wildlife Management Strategy: Procedures and Measures document contains the following text:

  • "Consult with affected parties and stakeholders. Affected parties includes anyone with existing or tenured forest, range, petroleum or mining interests within the proposed WHA."

The affected parties’ list will now include:

  • First Nations who claim an interest in the land or resources where the proposed WHA is located.
  • anyone else whose economic or property interests could be negatively affected by the proposed WHA

People who have technical expertise regarding a particular species maybe also be asked to comment as they can help to define the potential risks/benefits to a species of a proposed WHA.

Any parties outside of those listed are welcome to submit comments during the consultation process but they will not be solicited directly for their input. For information on proposed WHAs, there are two options:  1) the Identified Wildlife/Wildlife Habitat Areas page or 2) direct contact with the regional Wildlife Biologist or Ecosystem Specialist.

The recommended process for conducting Step 3 is that each government representative on the Regional WHA Committee will consult with the affected parties to which they are accountable. For instance, the Ministry of Energy and Mines representative will solicit comments from the mining, oil and gas sector. Ministry of Forests will solicit comments from the forest and range sector (tenure holders and the IWA). Ministry of Environment (with assistance from Ministry of Forests staff, where possible) will solicit comments from First Nations. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection may choose to solicit input from a species expert who can provide a technical opinion on the value of the proposed WHA to a particular species.

The timeline for Step 3 is recommended to be a maximum of 40 days. It is the responsibility of each government member of the regional committees to inform the affected parties of a proposed WHA and to indicate to the Provincial WHA Committee what concerns, if any the party had about the proposal. It is necessary to document all consultation, whether it is by e-mail or letter sent to the organization. When corresponding with affected parties it should be made clear that the intent is to gather technical information that is relevant to a proposal, primarily boundary considerations and potential impacts. Time should be allowed for representatives from an organization to respond to the proposed WHA. It is for this reason that stakeholder consultation should be initiated immediately after a proposed WHA has passed Step 2 in the process outlined in the Procedures and Measures document.

To the top of the page

Monitoring timber supply impacts

(Procedures and Measures:  pages 21 - 22)

The impact of the Identified Wildlife Management Strategy (IWMS) is "estimated to be 1% over both the short and long term" (Timber Supply Analysis - February 1996). Impact tracking is complicated by shifting data bases (including differences between land bases assumed in a timber supply analysis and those incorporated into the final Allowable Annual Cut (AAC) determination and changes in forest management practices (e.g., operability). To facilitate monitoring, the timber supply impact will be approximated by tracking the impacts on land base and available inventory, based on the most recent available Timber Supply Review database for each unit.

To monitor the timber supply impact requires information about (1) the wildlife habitat area (WHA) and (2) the land base in which the WHA is situated, particularly the timber harvesting land base (THLB).

The WHA assessment needs to identify (a) the forest cover polygon label(s) that the WHA falls within and (b) the amount of area or equivalent area of the WHA that would be considered within the THLB. To determine the amount of the WHA that will be attributable to the 1% policy limit, it is important to identify area within that WHA that would be excluded from the THLB during the timber supply analysis. These include but are not limited to:

  • Protected areas (e.g., parks, ecological reserves)
  • Non-forested, non-productive forest, or non-commercial brush (i.e., forest cover type identity projected 6, 8, or 5)
  • Inoperable areas
  • Environmentally sensitive areas that were not to be harvested
  • Marginal and/or merchantable forest stands excluded from the timber harvesting land base
  • Grandparented Ungulate Winter Range
  • Old growth management areas

Policy direction is that the 1% timber supply impact be based on the THLB prior to Code-related land base deductions ("pre-Code"). In some instances, recent timber supply reviews ("post-Code") have incorporated land base exclusions for wildlife tree patches and riparian areas. Depending on the order of the exclusions, determining the pre-Code THLB may be difficult. Where the pre-Code THLB is difficult to calculate (e.g. by simply adding riparian reserves or wildlife tree patches back into the land base if they were the final deduction), available information will be used, and the uncertainty noted in the data base. Statutory decision makers will then consider this information when evaluating WHAs if/when the defined thresholds are being approached.

The THLB in timber supply analyses may differ from the land base on which the final AAC determination is based. Differences in the land base estimates can arise, for example, from changes in land use designations, new inventory information or scientific knowledge or completion of a Land and Resource Management Plan. Because of the potential for differences between analysis and determination land bases, and the fact that the only clear data base is the analysis data set, the impact monitoring should be based on data and assumptions used in the most recent completed analysis.

Several values related to the THLB could be used to assess the impact of WHAs on timber supply: (a) the area of mature merchantable forest on the THLB; (b) the total area of the THLB; and (c) the volume of mature merchantable forest of the THLB. Although volume is probably the best value for ensuring that impacts do not exceed the policy direction given, area is a good surrogate and is much easier to measure reliably. Volume will therefore not be tracked unless evidence indicates that the amount of volume found within approved WHAs is proportionally higher than the area in WHAs.

The determination of the above THLB values will be based on the best currently available information. In most cases this will be TSR2 information (i.e., timber supply reviews in period 1997-2001). TSR2 more closely represents current standard practices associated with the Forest Practices Code (FPC). TSR1 (i.e., timber supply reviews in period 1992-1996) information is less standard, difficult to access and interpret, and not reflective of current conditions; for example due to implementation of FPC, boundary changes, designation of new protected areas, and completion of Local Resources Management Plans. The most recent dataset will be used to calculate impacts at the time the WHA is established. This will be the impact for that particular WHA even when a timber supply analysis is updated or revised. Furthermore, the dataset used at the time the first WHA was established will be the same dataset used for all subsequent WHAs for that management unit. This policy will be re-evaluated at the two year review of the 1% per district threshold to determine whether and how it should be modified.

In future timber supply reviews, established WHAs will be included directly in timber supply analyses of all management units and the impacts over time can be evaluated.

To the top of the page

Timber Impact Database

Compilation and maintenance of the database will be co-ordinated by Timber Supply Branch (TSB). Information on individual TSAs and TFLs will be obtained from TSB or regional timber supply analysts.

  1. Identify the timber harvesting land base. This step will be completed by calculating the following (depending on which is the most current database):


  • TSR1 area figures as pulled from base case of timber supply analysis reports (available from Timber Supply Branch)

  • TSR2 area figures (updated as available)


  • TSR1 area figures pulled from timber supply analysis reports. Note only limited figures for TFL may be present (available from Timber Supply Branch)

  • TSR2 area figures (updated as available). TSB analysts reviewing current (TSR2) TFL analyses will request information on current TFL timber harvesting land base from licensees.

To define mature forest we will use mature as all stands above some minimum age. For reporting several minimum ages (i.e., 60, 80, 100, 140, 250 years) will be provided.

  1. Calculate 1% of the area occupied by mature timber, and 1% of the total timber harvesting land base area. These are short term and long term thresholds for the management unit.
  1. Sum the threshold areas for all TSAs and TFLs by district and by region.

To the top of the page

Determining Each WHA Impact

  1. The regional Wildlife Biologist or Forest Ecosystem Specialist (FES), in conjunction with MOF district staff will determine:
  1. the area of the WHA that falls within the THLB and within other management exclusions; and
  2. the forest cover polygon labels of those areas in the THLB.

Timber Supply Branch or the regional Timber Supply analyst will assist in identifying the appropriate management exclusions.

  1. MELP staff, in cooperation with MOF staff, will review the recommended general wildlife measures for the WHA and estimate the amount of timber that the general wildlife measures will allow to be removed from within the WHA.
  1. MOF staff will calculate the area equivalency for that particular WHA (i.e., the total area of mature timber reduced by a factor derived to estimate the proportion of the total mature volume planned to be removed).
  1. The Regional WHA Committee will maintain area summaries for all TSAs and TFLs in a region by age class (i.e., stands older than 60, 80, 100, 140, and 250 years) of
  1. all approved WHAs and
  2. all proposed WHAs currently in review at Step 3-5 of the WHA procedures.

The committee will calculate

  1. impact of all approved WHAs; and
  2. impact of all proposed WHAs. Impact percents will be derived for each "greater than" stand age class.  These will be summarized by TSA, TFL, district and region.

Additional information on measuring and tracking impacts can be found in the "Managing Identified Wildlife: Procedures and Measures" February 1999 document.

 Interim measures clarification

(Procedures and Measures:  pages 19 - 20)

Interim measures are intended to temporarily protect a site while a proposed WHA is being considered. As written in the February 15, 1999 letter announcing the release of the Strategy, they are designed to "minimize the effects of forest practices on critical (wildlife) habitat attributes of Identified Wildlife".   The purpose of the following points is to clarify when interim measures should be applied and how to proceed when there is a Category A cutblock in the same area as the proposed WHA.

  • Upon completion of Step 2 and assessing the need for a WHA, the regional Wildlife Biologist or Ecosystem Specialist will inform the district manager and the licensee of a proposed WHA. As soon as possible, the RES will then inform the Regional WHA Committee. If there is no approved Category A cutblock, it is expected that, as per Chief Forester policy, interim measures will be applied.

  • In the case of an approved Category A cutblock with no silviculture prescription or cutting permit issued and no field assessments completed as indicated in OPR Sections 22(1)b, interim measures cannot be applied but a WHA can be established by the Chief Forester and Deputy Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks. Subject to the four month make-known provisions, the district manager and designated environment official can then refuse to approve subsequent forest development plans if the cutblock is not changed to accommodate the WHA.

  • In the case of an approved Category A cutblock with a cutting permit or silviculture prescription issued or field assessments completed as indicated in OPR Section 22(1)b, Code legislation and policy do not allow either interim measures or general wildlife measures (GWMs) to be applied to the cutblock. In such cases, the RES should reject the WHA proposal at Step 2 in order to avoid having the Regional WHA Committee spend time on unproductive reviews, mapping and consultation.

To the top of the page

II.  General wildlife measures

Bull Trout and stream crossings

(Procedures and Measures: page 38, 1st bullet)

It is acceptable to recommend modified measures for stream crossings on streams within a Bull Trout WHA when  a) stream does not contain bull trout concentrations, or b) when a crossing will not deliver anglers or poachers to the concentrations, or c) when the crossing will not result in detrimental effects on the bull trout concentration (i.e., on movement or habitat used seasonally by other life stages, water quality or impact ground water input).

When variances or modified measures are approved, consideration should be given to the use of bridges for stream crossings rather than culverts.

Queen Charlotte Goshawk:  Post-fledging area / Silviculture measure

(Procedures and Measures: page 66, 2nd bullet)

Should read " No silviculture treatments should be conducted between March 15 and June 30 within 500 m of an active nest unless a variance is approved by the district manager and regional fish and wildlife manager."

Northern Goshawk:  Silviculture measure

(Procedures and Measures: page 63, 2nd bullet)

Should read " No silviculture treatments should be conducted between March 15 and June 30 within 500 m of an active nest unless a variance is approved by the district manager and regional fish and wildlife manager."

Queen Charlotte Goshawk/ Northern Goshawk - seral stage definitions

(Procedures and Measures: pages 62 & 65)

Use the Biodiversity Guidebook definitions for old, mature, young and old forest.  For example, in the CWH Zone in NDT1 the definitions are:

forest class
age (years)
0 - 40
41 - 79
80 - 250

III.  Higher level plan recommendations

Bull Trout

(Procedures and Measures: page 39, 1st bullet, 2nd sub-bullet)

The watershed assessment trigger for road density of 150 m of road/km2 is accurate. There was some concern at one of the district training sessions that this might be a typo. Fisheries experts and the author of the account consider this to be a reasonable trigger for Bull Trout.

Government of BC links
Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection Copyright Disclaimer Privacy