Resource and Environmental Management - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Developmental trends of stand structure and tree mortality in coastal western hemlock forests

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1996
Abstract: 

I examined forest structure and tree mortality in the Coastal Western Hemlock very wet maritime 1 variant (CWHvm1) of British Columbia, using data collected from 190 permanent sample plots representing stand ages from 13 to over 300 years old. I found that patterns of structural development of forest attributes in the CWHvm1 were similar to patterns observed elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. For instance, percent cover of understory vegetation followed a so called "U" shaped curve with increasing stand age and, conversely, mean tree diameter, biomass oflive stems and production of dead stem biomass were consistent with the so called "s" shaped or sigmoid curve. Overall stem density declined with age and in diameter distributions of live stems shifted from a "reverse-J" type distribution in young stands, to a near normal distribution in intermediate-aged stands, and back to a reverse-J distribution in old stands. Tree mortality and many size classes of live stems, for both stem density and stem biomass, followed an inverted "U" shaped trend over stand age. My observations are consistent with other research demonstrating that old growth stands are structurally distinct from mature stands. Old growth stands were characterized by a wide range of tree diameters, high levels of understory cover, low density and high biomass of live stems, and a reverse-J diameter distribution. Further, tree mortality rates were low in old growth stands. In contrast, in intermediate-aged stands, the ranges of stem diameter, proportion of subcanopy stems, proportion of tree species other than hemlock, and understory cover were low. As well, stem diameter displayed a near-normal distribution and mortality rates were high. Developmental trajectories in the CWHvm1 were influenced by site productivity and other factors such as aspect, elevation and geographic location. The rate of change in the density of different size classes of stems, percent cover of understory vegetation and degree of canopy closure increased on more productive sites. Therefore, the rate that a stand moves through developmental stages depends to some extent on the productivity of the site. For tExample, a stand is likely to develop old growth characteristics more rapidly on more productive sites. Age, site productivity, aspect and geographic location do not explain all of the variation observed for the attributes examined in my study. When I examined the influence of these factors on density of live trees, I found that about 30% of the variation in stem density remained unexplained. It is possible that evaluating developmental trends at the site series level would eliminate much of this remaining variation, although I was unable to examine this with my data. The structural dynamics ofCWH forests require additional characterization. I was unable to examine trends in size and decay class distributions of standing and down dead wood, and differences in developmental trajectories resulting from different disturbance histories. Low sample sizes prevented me from exploring detailed developmental trends in stand structure during the transition from mature to old growth. Moreover I was unable to examine temporal trends among old growth CWH stands because ages of plots in these very old stands were not accurately determined. New silvicultural prescriptions need to be developed if very large stems and elevated levels of understory cover are to be retained in managed landscapes. Further, regulations, guidelines and prescriptions based solely on the assumption that certain attributes are associated with a given age class are inappropriate because of substantial variation in structural characteristics of forest stands.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project

Evaluating Collaborative Planning: A Case Study of the Morice Land and Resource Management Plan

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Collaborative planning is widely used in British Columbia, Canada as a decision-making tool for land use management. This study uses a research design synthesized from the relevant literature to evaluate the Morice Land and Resources Management Planning process, which began in 2002. After 18 months of negotiation between local stakeholders, the Morice table produced a consensus agreement for land use in the region. Unlike other processes in BC, a two-tiered negotiation model was used to engage First Nations on a government-to-government basis. This study demonstrates a need to revisit the two-tier process design in a way that continues to respect First Nations’ constitutional rights while also satisfying non-aboriginal stakeholders. Despite room for improvement, the Morice process was an overall success and generated important environmental and socio-economic benefits for stakeholders. This case study joins a growing body of research supporting collaborative planning as an effective land use management practice.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project

Carbon offsetting in a tourism context: Whistler, BC.

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Tourism related greenhouse gas emissions contribute to a warming climate, which will have significant consequences on many destinations. Addressing the emissions related to visitor travel is typically beyond the immediate control of the resort. However, the adoption of a visitor carbon-offsetting program is one emerging approach enabling destinations to address this challenge. The success of such a program ultimately depends on implementation by tourism organizations and participation by visitors. This study examined factors important to policy makers and tourism operators in developing, implementing and using carbon-offsetting programs, as well as visitors’ willingness to participate in them, using Whistler, British Columbia as a case study. Findings from key informant interviews with policy makers and tourism operators, and a broader visitor survey, identified a number of key factors that must be considered in the design and implementation of a successful visitor carbon-offsetting strategy.

Document type: 
Thesis
Department: 
School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
Project

Community stakeholder influence on corporate environmental strategy at Whistler, B.C.

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Peter Williams
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M.

A study of forest understories in two parts : community structure of forage plants consumed by coastal black bears and effects of partial cutting on understory

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Kenneth P. Lertzman
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.R.M.

Assessing the spatial and resource management implications of cruise ship tourism on British Columbia's North Coast

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2003
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Peter W. Williams
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.R.M.

Exploring aboriginal forestry and ecosystem-based management : a case study of Cowichan Tribes

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Wolfgang Haider
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.R.M.

The changing nature of corporate-environmental non-governmental organization relationships : a Whistler case study

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Peter W. Williams
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.R.M.

A decision-making framework to identify "temperature sensitive streams" for forest management in the north-central interior of British Columbia

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Randall Peterman
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.R.M.