Restoration projects are underway in Canada’s boreal caribou habitat in response to the observed relationship between caribou demographic decline and anthropogenic disturbance and wildfire. However, there is a lack of clear guidance on when habitat previously disturbed by activities such as forest harvesting or road development should once again be considered “undisturbed.” In this talk I review how different jurisdictions are addressing this policy gap, and present a brief review of the research available to inform definitions of undisturbed habitat. I then propose caribou habitat management goals, desired outcomes, and forestry objectives for managing to undisturbed habitat conditions. Forestry companies can contribute positively to caribou recovery by understanding the functional roles of the forest types in which they operate, what characteristics constitute undisturbed habitat conditions, and implementing strategies and practices to achieve those conditions as rapidly as possible.
About the Presenter
Steven F. Wilson, Ph.D., R.P.Bio
Steve Wilson is a consulting biologist who works at technical and professional levels in strategic and operational planning for wildlife and other ecological values. He specializes in quantitative approaches to decision support and policy analysis. Steve holds a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.