The Reproduction of Commercial Species in the
Southern Coastal Forests of British Columbia*
C. D. HowE. PH.D.
OBJECT OF THE WORK AND THE CONCLUSIONS IN BRIEF
EVEN the casual observer, employing the usual methods of travel in the southern coastal region of British Columbia, would doubt-less be impressed by the abundance of forest reproduction, especially that of Douglas fir. He sees young trees, often in dense stands, on all sides. If he reflects upon the significance of what he sees he gets the impression that there is nothing to fear in regard to the establishment of future commercial forests. However, for the most part, he sees this reproduction only along the margin of green forests, adjacent to cleared fields, highways and burned areas, where the conditions for the re-establishment of the forest are the very best. Are the conditions the same throughout the logged-over and burned-over areas? That is, are these very extensive areas in an adequate manner reproducing the forest which has been removed? The investigations, described on the following pages, were made in order to answer this question. The results are based not upon general impressions, so often misleading even to a careful observer, but upon a painstaking enumeration of the young trees on measured areas laid out in such a manner as to include all kinds of conditions.
As the result of such investigations, the question stated above may be answered thus : On about one-half of the area logged and burned in the past 20 years, the forest reproduction is not sufficiently abundant to insure the re-establishment of the commercial forest. The other half, however, is well stocked with young trees, and, if not burned, a forest yielding saw-logs is assured.
*The investigations reported in the following pages were carried on by the Commission of Conservation in co-operation with the Forest Branch of British Columbia. The writer is deeply indebted to the Chief Forester and members of his staff for their hearty co-operation and aid in facilitating the work.