Biodiversity and Forest Management in British Columbia

BC Forest

Northern British Columbian Mountains

“Biodiversity and Forest Management in British Columbia” is a collaborative effort of the BC Ministry of Forests and Ranges (FOR), the BC Ministry of Environment (MOE), the Centre for Applied Conservation Research at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and Forrex.  Special thanks to the members of the steering committee: F.L. Bunnell (UBC), A. MacKinnon (FOR), M.Fenger (MOE), and B. Nyberg (FOR).   Funding was provided by a grant from FOR to F.L. Bunnell.

“Biodiversity and Forest Management in British Columbia” provides current and feasible examples of Indicators used to assess the effects of forest practices on biodiversity.  The indicators of biodiversity described here have been implemented or are being explored by at least four forest companies: Weyerhaeuser, Canadian Forest Products, and Tembec.  We thank these corporations for sharing their efforts.


Welcome to “Biodiversity and Forest Management in British Columbia”.  This site examines management for biodiversity objectives in the forests of British Columbia.  The goals of forest management have shifted from those aimed at sustainable yields of wood fiber to those that include a broad array of public values, including the conservation of biological diversity.  Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, science has attempted to define, measure, and monitor biological diversity – steps in the management process that still pose significant challenges.

“Biodiversity and Forest Management in British Columbia” synthesizes current knowledge on how to sustain biodiversity in managed forests.  The main objectives of this site are to: 1) facilitate information transfer between managers, practitioners, scientists, and the public; 2) provide access to available management tools; and 3) support decision-making in the management process.

How to use this site

Information is organized into four main sections.  Within each section, subsections provide further details on related topics.  The various levels of information are arranged to guide the user through the steps of biodiversity management.  A search function is also available for users interested in a specific topic.  The four main sections of this site are:

What is biodiversity?  This section summarizes proposed definitions of biodiversity and suggests an approach to defining biodiversity for management purposes.

Biodiversity in British Columbia.  This section describes the diversity of ecosystems and species in British Columbia, and introduces the classification and ranking systems developed to organize available information on ecosystems and species.

Managing for biodiversity.  This section is divided into 5 subsections:

  • Why manage for biodiversity? describes the social and economic pressures under which managers operate, and the importance of sustainable biodiversity.
  • Regulatory requirements compares the biodiversity requirements of existing forest certification systems, and outlines international, national and provincial legislation related to biodiversity in British Columbia.
  • Management issues highlights some key issues central to the management of forest biodiversity: scale, location/geography, knowledge limitations, natural disturbance, and fragmentation/connectivity.
  • Management approaches presents six approaches to biodiversity management in forests: management by objectives, management by species, natural range of variability, adaptive management, ecosystem management, and default requirements under provincial laws.
  • The four steps guide the user through a Criteria and Indicator approach to monitoring and assessing the effects of forest practices on biodiversity.
  • Sustainable landscaping looks at landscaping’s effect on our surrounding habitat and the steps we can take on a personal level to help maintain and improve our environment.