|Year||Title (Author, Description)||File Download|
Relationships Between Stand Age, Stand Structure, and Biodiversity in Aspen Mixedwood Forests in Alberta
J.B. Stelfox (editor)
Resource managers and the environmental community are concerned that intensive clearcut logging of Alberta's aspen-dominated boreal mixedwood forests at 60–70 year rotations may alter the age class structure of the forest landscape and result in a change in forest structure and biota. In response to these concerns, we described forest structure and composition of plant and animal communities in young (20–30 years), mature (50–65 years) and old (120+ years) aspen mixedwood stands of fire origin in Alberta. The information collected in this study will serve as a reference against which structure and biota in harvested forests can be compared.
Review of Alberta Environment’s Ecosystem Goods and Services Assessment - Southern Alberta Phase 2 Report
Management and Solutions in Environmental Science
Alberta Environment (AENV) requested that Management and Solutions in Environmental Science (MSES) review and assess their Ecosystem Goods and Services Assessment Report (EGS Assessment). The peer review provides comments on the main elements of the EGS Assessment. We base our review on the stated goal of the Ecosystem Services Project, namely that the “ultimate aim is … to deliver the right information to policy developers and decision makers…”. Specifically, MSES evaluates the overall framework of the EGS Assessment, addresses the questions posed by AENV, and provides recommendations for further discussion. The following overarching comments or points are made on the EGS Assessment. More detailed responses to specific questions can be found in the body of our report. A list of recommendations for consideration is also provided. 1. The EGS Assessment presents a useful framework for assessing goods and services that are provided by landscape parameters, which are composed of a mosaic of habitats and a diversity of wildlife that uses them. However, for discussion we would like to highlight the anchoring question of this work: “How do ecosystem services support the maintenance of natural and anthropogenic assets?” . A service supporting an asset is only meaningful from an anthropogenic economic perspective, wherein a service is maintained strictly for its value to humans. From a natural ecosystem perspective, is it not the asset that supports the service rather than the other way around? The wording of the question has a major impact on how one views the direction of dependencies. The way that all spreadsheet tables are set up in the document suggests that a service maintains an asset. Using a cow and produced milk as an example, the milk is the result of the condition of the cow: no cow – no milk; poor cow – little milk; good cow – plenty of milk. The authors of the report ask questions from an economic perspective (translated): how does the milk support the maintenance of the cow? Therefore, all spreadsheet tables must be read from assets to services. However, ecological systems include parameters that may or may not fit neatly into human economic systems. For example, “How do Prairie Wetlands maintain the service of water regulation?” While sometimes there are feedbacks from the services to the assets, this important point of critique has a large impact on the overall assessment. In addition to summing-up and reporting the services, the values of the assets (which, in part, should consider asset condition) should be summed-up also. 2. The world’s ecosystem services have been under-valued by several orders of magnitude. Many current economists’ approaches to put dollar values to natural assets are highly inadequate. Civilizations died out (e.g. Sumerians in Mesopotamia) because one single element of the ecosystem (soil) was degraded (salinization) to such an extent that food production was severely decimated. In the given example, what was the value of the soil? Is the value of the soil in this example not close to infinite? This idea is corroborated by Costanza et al. (1997), who state that in one sense the total value of ecosystem services to the economy is infinite. 3. In addition to the problem of evaluating an economic service provided by natural assets, there is an emotional or spiritual service that is extremely difficult to express in monetary terms; the human perception of well-being provided by the surroundings. For example, what would the quality of our lives be without rivers and lakes? Or with only polluted rivers and lakes? Natural assets provide services that we need for our spiritual survival as a whole. 4. While the authors have undertaken a literature review (200 titles), it is not necessarily exhaustive. It is likely that there are many more publications that could be reviewed with potential findings that could be incorporated into the southern Alberta EGS Assessment framework. The EGS Assessment is very important and complex, and additional work is required to fill in many of the existing gaps. 5. One of the objectives of the assessment is to “Provide an understanding of the value of high quality ecosystems in relation to economic production in southern Alberta,…”(pg 5). Figure 3-1 of the report (pg 12) presents a conceptual framework of the function of ecosystem services. However, the figure does not carry a clear message, as it does not provide specific details or an explanation of the different types of arrows. No other framework of value assessment of ecosystems is provided. De Groot et al. (2002) in Barg and Swanson (2004) provide one such figure (see Figure 1, this report) that could be used as a starting point for the framework (written for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). A clear division of ecological, socio-cultural and economic values could facilitate the value assessment of ecosystem services in southern Alberta.
A Method for Measuring Sediment Production from Forest Roads
Predicting sediment production from forest roads is necessary to determine their impact on watersheds and associated terrestrial and stream biota. A method is presented for measuring sediment originating from a road segment for individual storm events and quantifying the delivery to streams. Site selection criteria are listed to describe the characteristics for efficient data collection and analysis. The method describes equipment used to quantify sediment transport—data loggers, a rain gage, a traffic counter, Parshall flumes with stilling wells, hydrostatic pressure transducers, and water pumping samplers—as well as variables associated with sediment production—road surfacing material, traffic intensity, gradient, age, construction method, and precipitation. A sampling protocol that worked well for the forest roads in southeast Alaska and can be adapted for use in other regions also is described. Examples of data collection and analysis are explained both for sites near the road and downstream sites for sediment delivery quantification. This method can be used to determine the downstream transport of sediment originating from roads and developing regression models or validating existing sediment models.
Catchment Disturbance and Stream Response: An Overview of Stream Research at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory
Webster, Golladay, Benfield, Meyer, Swank, Wallace
People interested in stream pollution frequently make a distinction between point-source and non-point-source pollution. Point-source pollution comes out of a pipe; non-point pollution generally enters streams in run-off from surrounding land. It is our contention that non-point-source pollution is a major contributor to degradation of water quality and ecosystem integrity in rivers; the direct effects are primarily to small streams and are then transmitted downstream to larger rivers. In this chapter we illustrate how a terrestrial disturbance affects small streams and how these streams respond to and recover from the disturbance.
COSEWIC's Assessment Process and Criteria
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) exists to provide Canadians and their governments with advice regarding the status of wildlife species that are nationally at risk of extinction or extirpation. The COSEWIC process is divided into three sequential steps, each of which has a tangible outcome. These are detailed below. • selection of wildlife species requiring assessment - the COSEWIC Candidate List; • compilation of available data, knowledge and information - the COSEWIC status report; and • assessment of a wildlife species' risk of extinction or extirpation and subsequent designation - the record of COSEWIC assessment results.
Mayatan Lake State of the Watershed Report
Melissa Logan, P.Biol., Billie Milholland, B.A., and David Trew, P.Biol.
The purpose of this report is to summarize all available environmental information for Mayatan Lake and its surrounding watershed. This report also provides a benchmark against which future stewardship activities and best management practices aimed at maintaining and improving watershed health can be assessed. The information will provide landowners, stakeholders, Parkland County and the Mayatan Lake Management Association (MLMA) with the information needed to support sound management decisions and develop solutions to protect or enhance land and water resources in the watershed. It also serves as a localized component and example of NSWA’s larger basin planning initiative, the Integrated Watershed Management Plan for the North Saskatchewan River Basin.
Cumulative Effects of Logging Road Sediment on Salmonid Populations in the Clearwater River Jefferson County Washington
C.J. Cederholm, L.M. Reid, E.O. Salo
The nature of sediment production from logging roads and the effect of the resulting sediment on salmonid spawning success in the Clearwater River drainage have been studied for eight years. The study includes intensive and extensive analyses of field situations, supplemented by several controlled experiments. It was found that significant amounts (15-25 percent) of fine sediments (less than 0.85 mm diameter material) are accumulating in spawning gravels of some heavily roaded tributary basins. This accumulation is highest in basins where the road area exceeds 2.5 percent of the basin area. Tributaries of relatively steep gradient are less likely to accumulate high levels of fines. The survival of salmonid eggs to emergence is inversely correlated with percent fines when the percentage of fines exceeds the natural levels of 10 percent. There is a rapid decrease in survival to emergence for each 1 percent increase in fines over natural levels. The presence of 2.5 km/km2 of gravel-surfaced roads undergoing an average distribution of road uses is found to be responsible for producing sediment at 2.6-4.3 times the natural rate in a drainage basin. Sixty percent of the road-related sediment production is caused by landslides while erosion on road surfaces accounts for an additional 18-26 percent. If fine sediment alone is considered, production from road surfaces and landslides is nearly equal. The tributaries of the Clearwater River may be underseeded for coho salmon due to heavy harvest rates in the commercial and sport fisheries. This underseeded condition becomes significant when the efficiency of the spawning environment in producing recruits is lowered by logging-caused sedimentation.
Fresh: Edmonton's Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy
The City of Edmonton Food and Urban Agriculture Advisory Committee
This Strategy provides a singular opportunity to imagine how new approaches to food and urban agriculture can make Edmonton an even better place to live, work, play and invest. It’s no exaggeration to say that food matters to each of us every day, but we also need to consider how to make our city a more innovative and dynamic food and urban agriculture setting as we move into the future.
Defining Pre-Industrial and Current Disturbance Regime Parameters for the North Saskatchewan Regional Planning Area
This report is a technical and scientific support document to the land use planning process for the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan landscape. More specifically, the information here will provide the best available state-of-knowledge of the pre-industrial and current or business-as-usual disturbance regimes. Furthermore, this information will be used as input for a scenario / simulation modelling exercise. Specifically the Objective is: To provide a complete and succinct summary of the current state of knowledge of all key parameters of the historic and current disturbance regimes of the North Saskatchewan landscape in a model-user-friendly format.
Forest Road Sediment and Drainage Monitoring Project Report for Private and State Lands in Western Oregon
Arne Skaugset and Marganne M. Allen
This is the second report completed as part of a four-year project to investigate the effectiveness of forest road drainage practices designed to minimize sediment delivery to streams. This investigation is expected to yield a list of recommended road drainage and construction practices for private and public forest land managers and agencies that regulate forest management activities in western Oregon. This report summarizes data collected during the summer and fall of 1995 and 1996, years two and three of this project. Road drainage and sediment delivery data were analyzed in a regional context, as well as broken into categories based on best management practices (BMP’s). A final technical paper will be produced at the end of this project.