Climate change adaptation and wildfire protection in a community forest

The Harrop-Procter Community Forest consists of 11,300 hectares of Crown Land on the south shore of Kootenay Lake, and has a mandate to practice socially and environmentally progressive forestry. The cooperative has four primary values: 1) protect domestic water; 2) maintain biodiversity; 3) create local jobs; and 4) protect communities from wildfire. The cooperative sells timber products from its mill in Harrop, has Forest Stewardship Council certification, and is actively engaged in community outreach. Community wildfire protection is being addressed through a risk assessment and through the development of a management plan to reduce risk. Maps of ecosystem units, fuel loading and soil moisture regimes were used to assess the risk of fire to homes, water supply and biodiversity. Climate change scenarios were used to evaluate changes in soil moisture regime and fire risk. This assessment will aid in prioritizing areas for adaptive management.

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