Research Opportunities:

Current and Past Research Projects:

1. Considering Ungulate Habitat Values in Developing an Access Management Plan for the Arch Truck Road.

Roy Rea of UNBC has been contracted to work with the JPRF to develop an Ungulate (moose, deer) Access Management Plan for the western end of the Arch Truck Road. This 3km section of road restricts access from the west side of the research forest. This poses a problem when workers and JPRF staff need to access the research forest. Roy will be studying the impacts of road development on the moose and deer populations in the area. The results of this research will provide valuable information when roads are planned throughout the remainder of the forest. A local research assistant has been hired to help with field activities with this project.

2. Historical Forest Ecology

Michelle MacGregor, a graduate student at UNBC, is working with Dr. Steve Dewhurst on an historical forest ecology project. This project will consider both the environment and its inhabitants, and the historical information will aid in the development of indicators and criteria which will assist in managing the forest in a sustainable way. The project will also create a framework that community members can use to develop a better understanding of how human activities affect forest conditions. This project goes beyond traditional field surveys to include oral histories, maps, travellers accounts, photographs, newspaper stories and any other documents related to historical forest ecology.

3. ECHO Project
Dr. Annie Booth, Dr. Steve Dewhurst, Dr. Winifred Kessler, Erin Sherry and Melanie Karjala from UNBC conducted a two year project funded by the Sustainable Forest Network to develop a land planing process to be used in involving First Nations issues in Forest Planning. The researchers worked closely with the people of Tl'azt'en Nation to incorporate Tl'azt'enne values in the forest planning process. Dr. Dewhurst and Melanie Karjala have presented the product of this research to the local community. This project has been a keystone project for the co-management of the JPRF and how indigenous and scientific knowledge can be applied to land management.

4. Bat Ecology Study
Jennifer Psyllakis of the University of Regina conducted a research project on the ecology of bats in the Sub Boreal Spruce forests. This project involved capturing and tagging bats to determine the best quality bat habitat. The intent of the study was to determine the types of habitats that bats have adapted to and if these results could be then used for more accurate forest development planning.

5. Small Mammal Study

Dr. Ken Parker from UNBC conducted a study with regard to small mammal and bird ecology and the associated implications for forest planning. The objective of this study was to determine the usage of Wildlife Tree patches by birds and small mammals. The results indicate whether the current forestry practice of leaving Wildlife Tree Patches is sufficient to maintain critical levels of habitat for birds and small mammals.

6. Owl Survey
Dr. Ken Parker from UNBC and Randy Rawluk recently conducted a night survey of owl calls in the JPRF. This information is being collected by the Canadian Wildlife Service to gain a long-term record of owl activity across Canada. The results were encouraging with nine different owls being recorded for the night.

7. Leave-Tree Survival and Wind Damage after partial cutting in the Upland SBS Forests.
Mike Jull from MoF / UNBC and Bob Sagar conducted a study of the effects of wind damage in areas where partial cutting techniques have been used. The purpose of the study is to better understand the effects of wind and wind damage in local partial cuts where mature trees are left behind for seed stock. In addition this study will produce results that can help develop windthrow management techniques customized for the central interior forest region.

8. Exploring the Integration of Cultural Values in the Development of Experiential Education Programs.
Damian John has received funding from the JPRF for Phase 1 of a project to try and determine how to successfully incorporate cultural values into an experiential learning program for youth. The project will help understand and develop the linkage between elders and youth and the potential for passing on cultural values through alternate sources of education.

9. Site Preparation Trials
The JPRF staff is conducting a variety of site preparation trials to determine the most effective method of site prep for the JPRF forests. These activities include trying different types of machinery as well as implementing various different styles of actions to prepare harvested sites for reforestation efforts.

10. Mixed Wood Silviculture Trials
The JPRF staff is implementing a trial study of introducing Douglas Fir seedlings into a dominant birch stand. This project will involve spacing the natural regeneration of birch and planting fir seedlings in between. Birch and Douglas fir are known to have a symbiotic relationship and this study will determine if this type of mixed wood planting is a viable option on the research forest.

11. Seedling Inoculation
Dr. Chuck Bulmer and Dr. Shannon Birch from MoF conducted a study to determine the potential of growing stock seedlings with enhanced capability to grow on roads and landings. Douglas Fir, Pine and Spruce seedlings were grown and inoculated with rhizhome treatments to enhance strength and growing potential. If successful, these seedlings can then be used to plant old roads and landings.

12. Forest Health and "Beetle Proofing"
Researchers from the Canadian Forest Service are planning a project to test different methods of treatments to combat bark beetle infestations. These treatment methods seek to mimic natural conditions, such as fire, and therefore will involve understory removal and spacing to see if this makes forests more resistant to beetle infestation.

13. Ecotourism Planning for Tl'azt'en Nation
Sanjay Nepal and Jeff Zeiger of UNBC are conducting a two year research project into the ecotourism potential for Tl'azt'en Nation. They are using a community based approach to determine the kinds of development or activities that the community feels is important. This project has created two research assistant positions for local youth. The product of this project will be a plan that the community can use to develop tourism resources that are sustainable from a community perspective.

13. Dendrochronological and Dendroclimatic Investigations in the Cordillera: Southern Yukon and British Columbia

B.H. Luckman, E. Watson and D.K. Youngblut from the University of Western Ontario conducted research on the JPRF to use tree ring data from mature Douglas Fir in an effort to build a timeline of climatic processes over the life cycle of the tree. This information will be used by the Meteorological Service of Canada to map the climatic history of different regions of Canada.

14. Analysis of Historical Photography to Support Ecological Restoration
The JPRF staff and IFS are implementing a project to analyze historical air photos taken in 1947 to determine the "natural" composition of the forests in the JPRF. This information will then be used in future forest planning to develop models of management that will support restoration of the local ecosystems to a natural state. This is a major step in the process of managing toward a legacy forest.

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