Forest Management Planning is conducted at three levels. The foundation is the 2021-31 forest management plan which sets the strategic direction for all access, harvest, renewal and tending operations scheduled during the 10-year period; Annual Work Schedules are completed for each year of a forest management plan and describe activities scheduled for implementation during the year; Finally, site-specific Forest Operations Prescriptions are developed to guide all operations conducted during the year and provide the link between the Forest Management Plan and the reality on the ground. They are also critical to ensure area of concern prescriptions are applied and followed to protect any natural resource features or values identified in the work area.
2021-31 Forest Management Plan
The 10-year Management Plan (FMP) for the Bancroft Minden Forest was developed by an interdisciplinary team of registered professional foresters and specialists in conjunction with stakeholders and indigenous community representatives using various forest management guides approved in the province of Ontario, namely the Forest Management Planning Manual. The planning manual prescribes the requirements for Ontario’s forest management planning system including the planning process and products. The FMP sets the strategic direction for all operations scheduled during the plan period. The plan also outlines how forest management on the unit has regard for the plant life, animal life, water, soil, air, and social and economic values, including recreational values and heritage values.
The forest management plan and associated documents are available to all via the Natural Resources Information Portal. Please navigate the portal to find information on your area of interest. If you have a detailed question or concern, contact BMFC staff for further information.
Natural Resource Information Portal
The Natural Resource Information Portal is a website maintained by the government to allow public access to draft and approved forest management plans, approved Annual Work Schedules, Annual Reports and associated information prepared for Crown forests in all management units in Ontario.
Annual Work Schedule
The Annual Work Schedule (AWS) identifies operations that were previously planned and approved in the Forest Management Plan and are scheduled for implementation during that year. An AWS is required to be developed for each year of the 10 year forest management plan period and covers a period of April 1 to March 31.
The AWS is developed in the winter (normally between November and December) by soliciting input from our licencees of where they plan to operate during the AWS period. The AWS is then prepared and shared to Indigenous communities for their input and review for a 60 day consultation period. Once the indigenous consultation period has ended and any changes have been made based on input received, the AWS is posted for a 15-day public inspection period on the Natural Resource Information Portal (normally around March 15th to April 1st).
Forest Operations Prescription
The Bancroft Minden Forest Company uses Forest Operation Prescriptions (FOPs) to communicate site-specific harvest, renewal and maintenance objectives to Tree-Markers, Operators, Auditors and more.
Each prescription is developed through boots-on-the ground field data collection and analysis to the meet the needs of the specific site and documents any additional renewal and maintenance activities necessary to achieve the desired regeneration.
The Forest Management Plan identifies preliminary prescriptions for each area selected for operations, based on the most common treatment applied in that forest type (known as the Silviculture Ground Rule), based on Forest Resource Inventory (FRI) data. The FRI data needs to be verified on the ground. Subsequently, the FOP provides the link between the Forest Management Plan and the reality on the ground.
The process of a FOP development is complex and involve a high level of experience with applying the principles of silviculture. The process is carried out using the following steps:
- Verify the Current Forest Condition
- FRI data is used to aid in stand delineation prior to the site visit
- Conduct site visit to collect data for each forested stand: overstory and understory tree species composition, age and age structure, eco-site, growing conditions, basal area and quality.
- Identify and map any new features or non-productive areas e.g. streams, swamps, rock outcrops, steep slopes
- This exercise is done in the office based on the analysis of data collected
- Determine the desired future forest condition after the treatment is implemented e.g. improve the growth of species on site, promote the regeneration of certain species over others, regenerate to a different species
- A Silviculture Ground Rule specifies standards e.g. silvicultural system, logging and regeneration methods and other instructions that direct silvicultural activities on the management unit during the period of the forest management plan
- Instructions for layout, tree marking and treatment of areas of concern and identification of operational issues are documented and described.
- The information is synthesized into a FOP document that is then stamped by a Registered Professional Forester
- The final FOP includes a Map with a detailed legend, identifying treatment areas and notable features
Area of Concern Prescriptions
An Area of Concern (AOC) is a defined geographic area associated with an identified natural resource feature, land use or value that may be affected by forest management activities.
An operational prescription for harvest, renewal, tending, or a condition on a road, landing or forestry aggregate pit is developed for an Area of Concern to prevent, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects of forest management operations on the natural resource feature, land use or value.
Areas of Concern
There are 118 AOCs identified in the 2021-31 FMP which can be grouped into the following broad categories:
- Indigenous Values: includes values identified through Indigenous community discussions;
- Cultural Heritage & Recreational Values: archaeological potential areas, provincial park boundary, designated trails, land use permits, recreational and trapper cabins;
- Research Plots & Environmental Monitoring Stations;
- Biological Values: habitat features like dens and nests associated with a number of specific species, and species at risk.
- Water Values: Lakes, streams, wetlands, trout spawning sites and self-sustaining trout lakes.
Operational prescriptions for AOCs may be reserves (i.e., prohibition of operations), modified operations (i.e., specific conditions or restrictions on operations) or regular operations (i.e., in accordance with the silvicultural ground rules), individually or in combination. Modified operations may also be regular operations with conditions (e.g., timing, equipment), or unique prescriptions that are developed to protect or manage specific natural resource features, land uses or values.
The Operational Prescription for Areas of Concern are described in the forest management plan under Table FMP-11. This table provides the AOC ID that corresponds to the feature as it appears on the operational maps, either through a label or as identified in the legend. A brief description is provided for each value and the table identifies if the AOC applies to a group of features (e.g. all great blue heron nests) or an individual feature (e.g. Kawartha and Frost Centre cross country ski trails). The table also provides the source of the direction used to prepare the AOC prescription, whether or not the AOC is an exception to provincial direction, and whether or not there are conditions on roads, water crossings, landings and forestry aggregate pits within the AOC. The details of the operational prescription, including the dimensions of the AOC are listed in the table.
Confidential values are not shown on FMP or AWS maps available to the public. MNDMNRF shares confidential values with BMFC on a need-to-know basis through a digital transfer of information to ensure the protection of the value. BMFC maintains Forest Operation Prescription maps that indicate all AOC prescriptions including confidential values, which will be labelled with a non-identifying code.
The AOC for Water Features recognizes lakes of all sizes, large and small permanent streams, as well as ponds and other wetlands. The setbacks from shorelines are slope dependent, meaning that steeper slopes have larger AOC widths.