When it comes to silvicultural activities, ATCO Wood Products has a
reputation for being the "flagship" within the two Crown Forest Districts it
operates in. Private land clients are equally impressed with the results they
ATCO plants a large mixture of conifers - often as many as six species - on
each block to promote species diversity. This mimics a natural West
Kootenay stand while still considering future economic industry conditions.
Over 95% of the blocks we manage are planted in the first available 'window'
after harvest completion, even though there is an 18 month gap between
ordering and receiving seedlings. This is accomplished through planning
and ordering a large variety of species suited for various sites/elevations.
The average Regen Delay (time between start of harvest operations and
completion of planting) is 0.8 years. Reducing Regen Delay restores
hydrological, visual and wildlife concerns more quickly.
Blocks are surveyed one, three and five years after being planted to ensure
seedling survival and to monitor deleterious vegetation competition.
Due to prompt planting, proper species selection and close monitoring, most
of Crown blocks (over 85%) achieve the Ministry of Forests' Free Growing
milestone at the earliest possible date in the Free Growing 'window'. The
Free Growing milestone is the point where obligation for a block is given
back to the Crown.
Proper site rehabilitation maintains or improves soil productivity and ensures
all sub-surface water flows maintain their natural courses. It also helps to
reduce the visual impact of the cutblock. ATCO Wood Products maintains an
aggressive Site Rehabilitation program on both Crown and private lands.
This approach definitely pays big dividends in the long term.
Our Silviculture Coordinator standing next to a 7-year-old Larch