|•||Habitat Dynamics and Function|
|•||Species at Risk Recovery Planning|
|•||Ecological Risk Assessments|
|•||Climate Change and Biodiversity|
Multi-criteria Placement for Old-Growth Management Areas (OGMA)
It can be challenging for foresters and land managers to incorporate and reconcile multiple values when placing old-growth management areas (OGMAs). Multiple, apparently conflicting criteria must considered when evaluating candidate OGMAs across multiple management units (e.g., ecological representation, amount of old forest, habitat elements, timber value, operability, risk of loss due to natural disturbances).
Services: We developed sets of criteria to evaluate ecological benefits associated with setting aside units of forest within the Boundary Forest District as OGMAs, as well as the risks of losing these areas once set aside (including to MPB infestation). These benefit/loss rankings were combined with harvesting and economic objectives in a spatial scheduling model in Woodstock to select high-value areas for OGMA placement. Using scenario analysis, different weightings and forest management strategies were tested to determine the most influential factors in OGMA selection.
Outcomes: By examining the future ecological and economic value of candidate OGMAS, we were able to identify candidate areas the provided the highest long-term marginal gains across all objectives. Opportunities to increase ecological values of some the landscape units while minimizing impact on economic values were identified. “Hotspot” mapping was used to study progressive reductions in ecological risk from OGMA placement, as a cross-check on the effectiveness of the overall objective function in preserving ecological rankings.