The Plantation

Before and After Photos

Before restoration, the Plantation was a thick young forest of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. There were about 1450 stems per hectare, and the xusum was slowly getting overtaken by the trees. This photo was taken in the fall of 2008. 

After restoration, the forest was thinned to approximately 400 stems per hectare. The forest was opened up around the xusum to give them more sunlight, water, and nutrients. The slash was lopped and scattered to get it as close to the ground as possible. This photo was taken in the summer of 2009. 

This photo was taken in fall 2011, almost two years after the restoration work was completed. The slash has flattened down significantly, and the trees have been pruned. 

This photo, taken in fall 2011, shows the three types of restoration work we did in the Plantation. On the left side of the hill, the forest was thinned to 600 stems per hectare. The hillside contains lots of greenery from the trees. On the right side of the hill, the forest was thinned to 200 stems per hectare. This side of the hill has more grass and shrubs, and fewer trees. The centre of the hill was thinned to 300 stems per hectare. 

Eco-cultural Restoration Prescription

In 2008, the forest crew carried out a survey of the Plantation to determine what the forest would have looked like before it was logged and replanted. Their data shows that the forest was made up of widely spaced old-growth trees, with a density of 250-450 stems per hectare. The trees grew in clumps, and there were scattered forest openings containing xusum and other understory plants. In moist areas, there were scattered aspen and cottonwood.

After the area was logged, Douglas fir and ponderosa pine were planted to a density of approximately 1450 stems per hectare. The planting tripled the normal density of the forest, and the understory shrubs and plants were starting to get overgrown by the young trees.

In order to restore the health of the xusum, and increase the diversity of plant species, we designed four restoration treatment types that removed a portion of the planted trees. The treatment types were thinned to a density of 200, 300, 500, or 600 stems per hectare. Creating a variety of treatment types allows us to observe over time the ecological benefits and disadvantages of each treatment type. In addition to the density guidelines, the restoration prescriptions included the following treatment specifications:

- Thin trees around the xusum to allow full or partial sunlight to each xusum bush
- Leave natural regeneration wherever possible
- Leave trees standing along fallen trees and beside stumps
- Leave the healthiest, largest trees and cut the small, unhealthy trees
- Leave a diversity of tree species
- Do not cut any aspen, cottonwood, spruce, or willow
- Leave trees in a pattern of clumps and opening
- Leave all of the large, old trees that weren’t cut during the logging in the 1980s.
- Lop and scatter the slash to get it as close the ground as possible
- Prune trees to 2 meters high or half of the tree height. 

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Xaxli’p Community Forest Corporation (XCFC) carries out ecologically and culturally sustainable land use for the benefit of Xaxli’p people, considering the needs of present and future generations.

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