Category Archives: GEOG 310 ASSIGNMENTS

MOVING FORWARD: ALGONQUIN PARK, ON

(This section was done in a collaborative group work. Other contributors are Amanda Bulmer, Kiana Bridges, and Mengjia Ding.)

New Forest Practices Model

As concerned members of the conservationist community, we suggest putting forward a New Forest Practices Model (NFPM). The goal of the NFPM is to help lower the ecological footprint caused by the effects of forest harvesting on Algonquin Provincial Park’s biodiversity, which in turn would protect the traditional lands of the Algonquin First Nations. In an effort to make our proposed model reasonable and realistic, we have carefully taken into consideration the values and needs of the many stakeholders in a collaborative effort to lower the ecological footprint of Algonquin Park in the future. The effects of forestry in the Park are followed by a combination of scientific uncertainty and a conflict in values, making it a wicked problem. Our proposed model attempts to balance the integrity of the Park while maintaining economic stability. It focuses on hard-to-solve issues such as constantly changing policies, forestry practices, and the byproducts of forest harvesting such as it’s accompanied logging roads and hydrological impacts. The New Forest Practices Model suggests the destruction and rehabilitation of abandoned logging roads, more sustainable forestry practices, a minimization of hydrological impacts, and various policy amendments all in an amalgamated effort attempting to lower the ecological footprint of Algonquin Provincial Park.

In an effort to save jobs and maintain Ontario’s GDP, our proposed NFPM has chosen to allow for the sustainable-logging to continue in the park. The techniques used in Algonquin Park’s forest harvesting are some of the most closely researched, cutting-edge, and sustainable methods that have been observed in the forestry industry up-to-date. The procedures used are said to mimic nature’s natural cycle of survival of the fittest (Algonquin Eco Watch, 2010). The AFA claims that they only harvest those trees that pose an immediate risk to humans, or those that would naturally be subjected to natural effects such as windstorms or lightning (2010). This implies that the direct impacts of forestry in the Park are not the immediate cause for the destruction of the ecosystem’s biodiversity. Rather that the indirect negative effects of logging such as roads are to blame.

Road Impacts

Algonquin Park contains more than 2000 km of road purely designated for logging (Zanussi, 2009). After an area has been logged, the roads are abandoned and are left as the destructive symbols of human impact. The damage caused by these abandoned logging roads includes an unstable and thinning soil, and also the depletion of nutrient-dense topsoil that allows for the growth of flora, including the newly planted tree seedlings.

Our proposed NFPM suggests the permanent biotransformation of abandoned logging roads. It is a quick and simple solution to improve the current situation and hopefully undo some of the damage. The biotransformation includes placing hog-fuel from the forest floor (bark and wood chips) onto the logging roads in combination with decomposition-aiding agents such as fungi, to help stimulate the new growth of forest flora. Abandoned logging roads also cause a break in the hydrological cycle, which creates excess runoff water that leads to soil erosion, removal of life-sustaining topsoils, and downstream water sedimentation and siltation (Ruby, 2006). The wood chips placed on the logging roads would not only accelerate decomposition but they would also serve as a filter helping to reduce sedimentation of watersheds downstream. Downfalls to this suggestion include the possible adaptation of the surrounding ecology to the current situation. By covering up the roads with wood chips, we might be destroying preexisting new-growth. Not only would cleaning up the forest floor benefit the rehabilitation of the abandoned logging roads, but also it may prevent forest fires from the accumulation of hog-fuel in the future.

Forestry Practices

The NFPM also recommends minimal construction of new logging roads by implementing more sustainable forestry practices. This includes the enforcement of designated boundaries for timber production, including the expansion of protected areas and the banning of old growth forest deforestation. A settlement would have to be made with the AFA because they are planning an expansion of the current logging roads and the addition of new ones (Algonquin Provincial Park, 2015). The goal of the NFPM would be to prevent logging in new areas to maintain the biodiversity and wellbeing of the forest. Currently the AFA is planting a selection of trees that are homogenous and cater to what sells best on the market (Algonquin Eco Watch, 2010). A more diverse selection of native trees would be beneficial to species at risk and should be planted to help boost the forest’s biodiversity. With today’s modern technology, tools such as GIS can be used to assist in the planning of these decisions. Setbacks of decreasing the area in which tree harvesting takes place might be the adaptation of species who could potentially suffer because the Park forest is now able to grow in a natural way.

Old Growth Forest

We recommend expansion of protected zones, while taking into consideration the impact on current and future wood supply for the forest industry (OP & AFA, 2009). These expansion zones would be chosen based on their contribution to the park’s values, some of which include ecological representation, connectivity between core areas and protecting cultural heritage in addition to impacts on wood supply to mills (OP & AFA, 2009). It is important to add old growth forests in the selection of these protection zones (OP & AFA, 2009). Figure 3 shows that, a significant portion of old growth forests have already been logged in the past and are not protected today. These forests offer unique ecosystem services; as a result, in their absence we would lose species of flora and fauna (Frank et al., 2011). Additionally, old growth forests provide an important reference point for ecological research (Frank et al., 2011).

What differentiates old growth forest from those in the earlier stages of succession is the high diversity of environmental conditions such as microclimates as well as structural elements. The spatiotemporal stability of the microclimates over long time-scales also differentiates old growth forests from young forests (Frank et al., 2011). The complex structure of old growth forests is significant mainly because it provides a wider range of niches available to various species (Frank et al., 2011). The heterogeneity of environmental conditions (or microclimates) nourishes different species with different levels of temperature, light and humidity (Frank et al., 2011). Furthermore, temporal stability, which allows healthy speciation, often disappears when forest is destroyed or heavily altered as a result of human disturbances (Frank et al., 2011). Human impact is not completely reversible (Frank et al., 2011). This is because succession of forests and recolonization of habitat is an extremely slow process dependent on stable environmental conditions (Frank et al., 2011). Although clear-cut logging is extremely harmful to the ecosystems, logging methods that mimic natural disturbances would not damage the environment (Frank et al., 2011).

Hydrological Impacts:

Aquatic ecosystems, in addition to terrestrial, partake in shaping the environment. One of most important ecological services of forests is a sustainable and high quality water supply (Jones et al., 2009). The combination of roads and unsystematic logging can degrade water quality and increase the probability of flooding (Jones et al., 2009). Therefore, protection zones in Algonquin Park should expand to preserve lakes, waterways as well as canoe routes of the park (OP & AFA, 2009). All the water bodies contribute to value of the park in many ways such as enhancing the ecosystems, protecting cultural heritage values, protecting species at risk as well as ecological integrity (OP & AFA, 2009). Specifically, waterways to lake Opeongo and other canoe routes provide recreational and fisheries values(OP & AFA, 2009). In terms of ecological integrity, one particularly significant species at risk in waters of Algonquin Park is Brook Trout, which should be protected by expansion of protection zones and education of visitors (OP & AFA, 2009).

Algonquin Park provides habitat to a high concentration of self-sustaining Brook Trout (OP & AFA, 2009). Brook Trout is on the verge of being listed as an endangered species. It is placed in the higher levels of the food chain in its ecosystem; therefore, its disappearance would harm more species in lower levels than the disappearance of a lower level species would (Cheever & Simon, 2009). Our NFPM suggest implementing “Areas of Concern” or “AOC” around all brook trout lakes in the park (OP & AFA, 2009). The AOC’s restrict construction or reconstruction of roads as well as banning new aggregate pits in the area (OP & AFA, 2009). Moreover, logging in these areas have restrictions to ensure a healthy water ecosystem (OP & AFA, 2009).

References:

Peer Review

Balint, P. J., Stewart, R. E., Desal, A. & Walters, L. C. (2012). Wicked Environmental Problems:   Managing uncertainty and Conflict. Retrieved from:https://books.google.ca/books?id=H_6XyO9rQqgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=wicked+environmental+problems&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAGoVChMI0tKt0qWRyAIV1SmICh2PFwFV#v=onepage&q&f=false

Cheever, B. M., & Simon, K. S. (2009). Seasonal influence of brook trout and mottled sculpin on lower trophic levels in an Appalachian stream. Freshwater Biology, 54, 524-535.

Creasey, M. L. (2013). Black-throated blue warbler (setophaga caerulescens ) nesting success and nest site selection in the single-tree selection harvested forests of algonquin provincial park, canada (Order No. MR93875). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1399560762). Retrieved from:http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/docview/1399560762?accountid=14656

Frank, D., Finckh, M., & With, C. (2009). Impacts of land use in habitat functions of old-growth forests and their biodiversity. In Wirth, C., Gerd, G, & Martin, H (Eds.), Old-Growth Forests: Function, Fate and Value (429 – 450). DEU: Springer. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Jones, J. A., Achterman, G. L., Augustine, L. A., Creed, I. F., Ffolliott, P. F. MacDonald, L. & Wemple B. C. (2009). Hydrologic effects of a changing forested landscape: challenges for the hydrological sciences. Wiley InterScience, 23, 2699-2704.

Mancuso, K., Nol, E., Burke, D. & Elliot, K. (2014). Effects of selection logging on Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sap-feeding habits in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 44:10, pp.1236-1243. Retrieved from:http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/full/10.1139/cjfr-2013-0498#.VgTaE2TBzGd

Government Documents

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2014). Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Policy.Retrieved from http://algonquinforestry.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/AFA-SFM-Policy-March-2014.pdf

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2015). Forest Management Planning (FMP). Retrieved fromhttp://algonquinforestry.on.ca/policy-planning-sustainable-forest-management-policy/policy-planning-forest-management-planning/

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2015). Summary of the 2010-2020 Forest Management Plan (FMP) for the Algonquin Park Forest. Retrieved fromhttp://algonquinforestry.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/6.1.20-FMP-Summary-w-Map1.pdf

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. (2006). Regulating Logging in Algonquin Park, Neglecting our Obligations, ECO Annual Report, 2005-06. Toronto, ON : Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. Eco Issues. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ecoissues.ca/Regulating_Logging_in_Algonquin_Park

Government of Ontario. (2015). Class EA for Forest Management on Crown Lands in Ontario (MNR-71). Retrieved from http://www.ontario.ca/page/class-ea-forest-management-crown-lands-ontario-mnr-71

Government of Ontario. (2012). Proposed Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan. Retrieved fromhttp://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/pdf/lighteningthefootprint_2012_amendment.pdf

Mazinaw-Lanark Forest Inc. (2014). Ontario’s Crown Forest Sustainability Act. Retrieved from http://www.mlfi.org/index.php/planning/ontario-crown-forest-sustainability-act

Natural Resources Canada. (2015). Canada Forest Laws. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/canada/laws/17497

The Ontario Parks (OP) Board of Directors and the Algonquin Forestry Authority (AFA) Board of Directors (2009). Joint Proposal for Lightening the Ecological Footprint of Logging in Algonquin Park. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ontarioparks.com/english/planning_pdf/algo/algo_joint_proposal.pdf

Popular Media

Ferguson, B. (2014). Algonquin Park logging, bee-killing pesticides targeted by environment watchdog. The Star. Retrieved fromhttp://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/10/07/time_to_end_logging_in_algonquin_park_environment_watchdog_says.htm

Koven, A., John, C., & Huff, D. (n.d.) Timber Management Class EA. Environmental Beginnings. Retrieved from http://environmentalbeginnings.ca/mnrs-timber-management-class-ea/

Wilson, H. (2014, December 3). Environmental Commissioner Decries Logging in Algonquin. Canadian Geographic. Retrieved fromhttp://www.canadiangeographic.ca/blog/posting.asp?ID=1388

Zanussi, R. (2014, November 10). Environmental Commissioner Recommends Banning Algonquin Park Logging. North Bay Nipssing News. Retrieved fromhttp://www.northbaynipissing.com/news-story/4989697-environmental-commissioner-recommends-banning-algonquin-park-logging/

Grey Literature

Algonquin Eco Watch. (2010) What Makes Algonquin Park Special?. Retrieved fromhttp://www.algonquin-eco-watch.com/forest-management/Annex%201%20What%20Makes%20Algonquin%20Park%20Special.pdf

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2014). Is Logging in Algonquin Sustainable?. Retrieved fromhttp://algonquinforestry.on.ca/is-logging-in-algonquin-park-sustainable/

CSA Groups (2013). CAN/CSA-Z809-08 (R2013). Retrieved fromhttp://shop.csa.ca/en/canada/sustainable-forest-management/cancsa-z809-08-r2013/invt/27017442008

Euler, D. (2009). Algonquin Eco Watch: Algonquin Park. Retrieved from:http://www.algonquin-eco-watch.com/Human%20Impact/Algonquin_Park_the_human_impact_web.pdf  

International Organization for Standardization (2015). ISO 14001:2015. Retrieved fromhttp://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=60857

Ruby, E. (2006). How Urbanization Affects the Water Cycle. California WALUB Partners.Retrieved from http://www.coastal.ca.gov/nps/watercyclefacts.pdf

Multimedia

Easto, H. (2014). Areas Where Logging Is Permitted and Prohibited in Algonquin park. Eco Issues. N.p. Retrieved from http://ecoissues.ca/File:Algonquin_Figure.jpg

Overview of old growth, logging, and protected zones in Algonquin Park. (2015, October 10). Ancient Forests. Retrieved from http://www.ancientforest.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/algonquin.jpg

GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK AND PRACTICES: ALGONQUIN PARK, ON

(This section was done in a collaborative group work. Other contributors are Amanda Bulmer, Kiana Bridges, and Mengjia Ding.)

The forest laws in Canada have given governments of provinces and territories the right to develop and enforce laws, regulations and policies related to local forests (Natural Resources Canada, 2015). In this case, the key decision makers of Algonquin Provincial Park are the government, and agencies and organizations within the province of Ontario. The Algonquin Forestry Authority (AFA) is the key local decision maker for forest planning in the Park. However, it is the Ontario Crown Agency that is responsible for sustainable forest management in Algonquin Provincial Park (Algonquin Provincial Park, 2015). The AFA set up the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) policy and Forest Management Planning for Algonquin Provincial Park, and explain the harvesting operations to the public.

Because Algonquin Park is a provincial park, no international agreements exist in accordance to commercial logging in the Park area. However, the AFA highlighted on their website that the SFM policy for Algonquin Provincial Park has followed the ISO 14001 standard–the international standard for environmental management systems. The standard helps enhance environmental performance, fulfill compliance obligations and achieve environmental objectives (International Organization for Standardization, 2015).

Similar to ISO 14001, Canada also has a national standard for sustainable forest management – CSA-Z809. This standard is recognized by Standards Council of Canada (SCC), and is designed to address the need of forest environment, policy structure and stakeholder communities specific to Canada (CSA Group, 2015).

With reference to both ISO 14001 and CSA-Z809 standards, the AFA formulates its SFM policy, which is available from their website. The policy aims at maintaining park values for future generations, maintaining the long-term health of the forest, as well as producing a sustainable supply of timber products (Algonquin Forestry Authority, 2014). The policy seeks sustainable development in biodiversity, ecosystem condition and productivity, soil, water, contribution to global ecological cycles, benefits to local society, and fulfilling the social responsibility of sustainable development. The SFM policy of Algonquin Provincial Park values the health and security of its employees, the public, and the contractors. The policy pays special attention to the Algonquin First Nations by highlighting Aboriginal rights and participation, and also states the need to organize training programs and prepare emergency response plans, and provide practices for continual improvements (Algonquin Forestry Authority, 2014).

Since Algonquin Provincial Park is a regional park monitored by government agencies, there are not many non-statutory institutions (for instance, Non-Government Organizations) involved in the decision making processes of the Forest Management Plan. However, the AFA communicated with the Local Citizens Committee (LCC) during a public consultation section to hear voices outside the major decision makers. Therefore, opinions from outside the government are also used in developing policies regarding logging in Algonquin Provincial Park (Algonquin Forestry Authority, 2014).

Moreover, logging activities took place within what is now Algonquin Provincial Park long before the area was established as a park (Wilson, 2014). In other words, the tradition of logging has existed before any policies regarding logging in the provincial park were made. The AFA’s decision to continue sustainable logging in the Park, with increased vigilance towards the ecosystem and the needs of the Algonquin First Nations, shows a basic level of respect towards the biodiversity and cultural traditions practiced in the area by the Algonquin.

The Forest Management Planning (FMP) documents provided by AFA explained in detail about decision-making process with both textual and graphic data. However, the SFM policy only provides a brief framework for regulations of forest management in the park without providing actual methods and practices. Although the AFA consulted LCC for opinions from local communities, there was only one member of LCC that participated in the process. Secondly, in the management plan, the AFA uses abbreviation for forest units in its FMP reports, making it hard for the public who does not have professional knowledge in this field to understand the planning documents. These problems decrease the participation of involved groups during forest management planning. Moreover, the implementation of FMP is reflected in the certification annual reports, but the reports are generated approximately one year later (the 2013/2014 report was published on Sept 11, 2015). In other words, AFA fails to provide the public with up-to-date information about forest management implementation in the park. Furthermore, it is not clear if the process is accountable. The management plan for this particular case is fully executed by 2020 (FMP, 2010) and we have to be patient to find out whether the decision makers are trustworthy and can be counted on.

References:

Peer Review

Balint, P. J., Stewart, R. E., Desal, A. & Walters, L. C. (2012). Wicked Environmental Problems:   Managing uncertainty and Conflict. Retrieved from: https://books.google.ca/books?id=H_6XyO9rQqgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=wicked+environmental+problems&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAGoVChMI0tKt0qWRyAIV1SmICh2PFwFV#v=onepage&q&f=false

Cheever, B. M., & Simon, K. S. (2009). Seasonal influence of brook trout and mottled sculpin on lower trophic levels in an Appalachian stream. Freshwater Biology, 54, 524-535.

Creasey, M. L. (2013). Black-throated blue warbler (setophaga caerulescens ) nesting success and nest site selection in the single-tree selection harvested forests of algonquin provincial park, canada (Order No. MR93875). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1399560762). Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/docview/1399560762?accountid=14656

Frank, D., Finckh, M., & With, C. (2009). Impacts of land use in habitat functions of old-growth forests and their biodiversity. In Wirth, C., Gerd, G, & Martin, H (Eds.), Old-Growth Forests: Function, Fate and Value (429 – 450). DEU: Springer. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Jones, J. A., Achterman, G. L., Augustine, L. A., Creed, I. F., Ffolliott, P. F. MacDonald, L. & Wemple B. C. (2009). Hydrologic effects of a changing forested landscape: challenges for the hydrological sciences. Wiley InterScience, 23, 2699-2704.

Mancuso, K., Nol, E., Burke, D. & Elliot, K. (2014). Effects of selection logging on Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sap-feeding habits in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 44:10, pp.1236-1243. Retrieved from:http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/full/10.1139/cjfr-2013-0498#.VgTaE2TBzGd

Government Documents

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2014). Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Policy. Retrieved from http://algonquinforestry.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/AFA-SFM-Policy-March-2014.pdf

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2015). Forest Management Planning (FMP). Retrieved from http://algonquinforestry.on.ca/policy-planning-sustainable-forest-management-policy/policy-planning-forest-management-planning/

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2015). Summary of the 2010-2020 Forest Management Plan (FMP) for the Algonquin Park Forest. Retrieved from http://algonquinforestry.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/6.1.20-FMP-Summary-w-Map1.pdf

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. (2006). Regulating Logging in Algonquin Park, Neglecting our Obligations, ECO Annual Report, 2005-06. Toronto, ON : Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. Eco Issues. Retrieved from http://www.ecoissues.ca/Regulating_Logging_in_Algonquin_Park

Government of Ontario. (2015). Class EA for Forest Management on Crown Lands in Ontario (MNR-71). Retrieved from http://www.ontario.ca/page/class-ea-forest-management-crown-lands-ontario-mnr-71

Government of Ontario. (2012). Proposed Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan. Retrieved from http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/pdf/lighteningthefootprint_2012_amendment.pdf

Mazinaw-Lanark Forest Inc. (2014). Ontario’s Crown Forest Sustainability Act. Retrieved from http://www.mlfi.org/index.php/planning/ontario-crown-forest-sustainability-act

Natural Resources Canada. (2015). Canada Forest Laws. Retrieved from http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/canada/laws/17497

The Ontario Parks (OP) Board of Directors and the Algonquin Forestry Authority (AFA) Board of Directors (2009). Joint Proposal for Lightening the Ecological Footprint of Logging in Algonquin Park. Retrieved from http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/planning_pdf/algo/algo_joint_proposal.pdf

Popular Media

Ferguson, B. (2014). Algonquin Park logging, bee-killing pesticides targeted by environment watchdog. The Star. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/10/07/time_to_end_logging_in_algonquin_park_environment_watchdog_says.htm

Koven, A., John, C., & Huff, D. (n.d.) Timber Management Class EA. Environmental Beginnings. Retrieved from http://environmentalbeginnings.ca/mnrs-timber-management-class-ea/

Wilson, H. (2014, December 3). Environmental Commissioner Decries Logging in Algonquin. Canadian Geographic. Retrieved from http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/blog/posting.asp?ID=1388

Zanussi, R. (2014, November 10). Environmental Commissioner Recommends Banning Algonquin Park Logging. North Bay Nipssing News. Retrieved from http://www.northbaynipissing.com/news-story/4989697-environmental-commissioner-recommends-banning-algonquin-park-logging/

Grey Literature

Algonquin Eco Watch. (2010) What Makes Algonquin Park Special?. Retrieved from http://www.algonquin-eco-watch.com/forest-management/Annex%201%20What%20Makes%20Algonquin%20Park%20Special.pdf

Algonquin Forestry Authority. (2014). Is Logging in Algonquin Sustainable?. Retrieved from http://algonquinforestry.on.ca/is-logging-in-algonquin-park-sustainable/

CSA Groups (2013). CAN/CSA-Z809-08 (R2013). Retrieved from http://shop.csa.ca/en/canada/sustainable-forest-management/cancsa-z809-08-r2013/invt/27017442008

Euler, D. (2009). Algonquin Eco Watch: Algonquin Park. Retrieved from: http://www.algonquin-eco-watch.com/Human%20Impact/Algonquin_Park_the_human_impact_web.pdf  

International Organization for Standardization (2015). ISO 14001:2015. Retrieved from http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=60857

Ruby, E. (2006). How Urbanization Affects the Water Cycle. California WALUB Partners. Retrieved from http://www.coastal.ca.gov/nps/watercyclefacts.pdf

Multimedia

Easto, H. (2014). Areas Where Logging Is Permitted and Prohibited in Algonquin park. Eco Issues. N.p. Retrieved from http://ecoissues.ca/File:Algonquin_Figure.jpg

Overview of old growth, logging, and protected zones in Algonquin Park. (2015, October 10). Ancient Forests. Retrieved from http://www.ancientforest.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/algonquin.jpg

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Peer-reviewed References

Lindenmayer, D. B. (1999). Future directions for biodiversity conservation in managed forests: indicator species, impact studies and monitoring programs. Forest Ecology and Management, 115, 277-287.

This peer-reviewed article is based on a conference in Uppsala, Sweden n 1997 and addresses a number of key issues including 1) the potential value of a indicator species concept for forest conservation, 2) impacts of logging on biodiversity and limitations of previous investigations, and, 3) ways to monitor species to achieve long-term ecological sustainability. This heavily cited article provides a more general view on biodiversity conservation issues associated with logging rather than focusing on one specific species in a specific forest. Lidenmayer’s work is valuable to my research since it gives a possible explanation to conflicting scientific results found in other articles. “There may be cumulative long-term effects of logging and the response of species after the first cut may be different from that following successive ones” (Lidenmayer, 1999, p. 280).

There’s no mention of methods used for gathering the information in this article. However, the author suggests appropriate methods for further investigations in the matter including field experiments, observational studies and simulation modeling. Lidenmayer’s paper is descriptive and concise yet easy to read. On one hand, the various sources used in this article as well as being published in a known journal increase the reliability of the paper. On the other hand, the article was published in 1999; therefore, the statistics and examples are not exactly up-to-date. In the end, Lindenmayer recognizes the limitations of the findings in the article.

 

Jones, B., Molenda, O., Hayward, C., D’Aguiar, M., Miller, N., Rye, L. & Cottenie, K. (2011). Patterns of tree diversity in response to logging in Algonquin Provincial Park. Studies by Undergraduate Researchers at Guelph, 4:2, pp. 56-62.

The authors of this article investigate the effects of disturbance on species diversity, in order to find ways to mitigate its effects. The main theoretical framework this study uses is the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis (IDH), which states that at intermediate levels of disturbance—human or natural—diversity is maximized. For this study, they sampled seven sites from Algonquin Park in Ontario with known times since last logging ranging from 4 to 149 years. Their results from the study matched the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis; therefore, they concluded that it is possible to log trees and maintain diversity as long as logging is done after a certain amount of time has passed.

This article is relatively more challenging to read since it uses many scientific terms and jargon. It is well structured, comprehensive and up-to-date. The article is also supported by more than 30 sources listed in the end of the paper. Although this study is a work of undergraduate students at University of Guelph, supervision by a credible professor is indicated on the paper.

 

Nol, E., Douglas, H., & Crins, W. (2006). Responses of syrphids, elaterids and bees to single-tree selection harvesting in algonquin provincial park, ontario. Canadian Field-Naturalist, 120(1), 15-21.

The focus of this scholarly article is relatively narrow. It concentrates on the effects of single-tree logging in Algonquin Park specifically on hoverflies, click beetles and bees. This article provides a perfect example for the negative long-term impact of improper logging on biodiversity. The hypothesis states that the richness of these flower-seeking insects increases significantly in logged areas since the amount of sunlight penetrating the forest floor is higher. For this study, samples were chosen randomly in three groups of last logged 40 years ago, old logged (15-20 years ago) and recently logged (6 months – 3 years ago). Then the three species were captured in all areas. Each of the target groups had significantly higher captures in recently logged areas.

This article is on the more challenging side since it contains many undefined scientific terms. Despite that, it is a reliable source with two authors from different universities and one from the research section of Ministry of Natural Resources. Overall, this scientific paper is trustworthy with a long list of different sources. Even though the article was published in 2006 the study was conducted in 1997 and 1998.

 

Mancuso, K., Nol, E., Burke, D. & Elliot, K. (2014). Effects of selection logging on Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sap-feeding habits in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 44:10, pp.1236-1243. Retrieved from:http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/full/10.1139/cjfr-2013-0498#.VgTaE2TBzGd

This also is a scholarly article with a narrower subject. The focus of the paper is the behavior change in a woodpecker species, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, after selection logging in Algonquin Park. The method used for this study includes examining three components, 1) the average distance travelled from their nest to sapwell tree, 2) characteristics of active sapwell trees compared to the rest, and, 3)the reuse f sapwell trees after 1 or 2 years. The results show that all three components did not vary as a result of selection logging. This article provides an example clashes with Nol et al. article and gives a completely different perspective. This article is evidence for scientific uncertainty and conflict in this subject.

Aside from a few scientific terms, this article is easy to follow and structured well. This article is published in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research in 2014. It also provides a long list of references at the end. This means that the article is reliable and up-to-date. The limitations to study are mentioned.

 

Grey Literature References

Ontario Parks Board of Directors & Algonquin Forestry Authority Board of Directors. (2009, September 15). Joint Proposal for Lightening the Ecological Footprint of Logging in Algonquin Park. Retrieved from:http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/planning_pdf/algo/algo_joint_proposal.pdf

This document, developed by Ontario Parks Board and Algonquin Forestry Authority Board, provides all the basic information about Algonquin Park as well as the issues and conflicts associated with logging of the park followed by recommendations to address these issues. The section specifically related to my research focuses on significance of Algonquin Park as an ecosystem. This park is home to several species at risk and should be protected to maintain these species as well as protecting ecological integrity.

This document is thorough and easy to read; it comes with a 6-page appendix that helps better understand the concepts and issues. It doesn’t have specific author(s), however, it’s written by reliable sources, Ontario Parks and AFA but there are no references included. It’s an unbiased source since it contains different perspectives of environmentalists and forest industry.

 

Zanussi, R. (2014, November 10). Environmental commissioner recommends banning Algonquin Park logging. North Bay Nipssing News. Retrieved from http://www.northbaynipissing.com/news-story/4989697-environmental-commissioner-recommends-banning-algonquin-park-logging/

This online newspaper article is based on the opinions of Gordon Miller, Ontario’s environmental commissioner. It points out the changes in the environment and biodiversity of Algonquin Park as a result of logging. The article ends with suggestions by Miller to address the problems of logging. According to Miller, not only logging affects biodiversity directly but also indirectly. More than 2000 kilometers of roads constructed in the park for transportation of the logs damage habitats and wildlife as well as serving as a pathway for invasive species.

This article was retrieved from the North Bay Nipssing News website. This paper is a part of a parent company called Metroland Media and is the most northern community paper in the company. Being a part of a larger company makes this source more reliable but it’s still a little questionable. Nonetheless, one advantage of newspaper sources is that they’re the most up-to-date sources available.

 

Raw Data Sources

Retrieved from http://www.eco.on.ca/blog/2014/12/03/park-not-park/

Algonquin-Logging-Map

This map retrieved from the environmental commissioner of Ontario (ECO) website provides a good representation of the areas open to logging. This map shows that the percentage of protected areas from logging (green areas) is smaller than logging areas (pink areas). This shows that much of the biodiversity of the park is in danger.

The ECO, appointed by the Legislative Assembly, monitors and reports on compliance with the Environmental Bill of Rights, therefore, this map is a reliable source. Although the representations of the map might be obvious there are always hidden information in maps that require further investigation.

 

Retrieved from: Ontario Parks Board of Directors & Algonquin Forestry Authority Board of Directors. (2009, September 15). Joint Proposal for Lightening the Ecological Footprint of Logging in Algonquin Park. Retrieved from:http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/planning_pdf/algo/algo_joint_proposal.pdf

Algonquin table

This table is taken out of the Joint Proposal for Lightening the Ecological Footprint of Logging in Algonquin Park. The reliability of this source is discussed above. This table compliments the information seen in the map above (retrieved from ECO website). Additionally it shows that little has to be changed to make a great impact in environment and biodiversity of the area.

LOGGING OF ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK

Algonquin Park situated in central Ontario is a natural area that serves as a recreation and tourism destination as well as providing social and economic benefits to local communities, the region and the province (Ontario Parks & AFA, 2009). Out of the 339 parks in Ontario, this park is the only one that allows commercial logging. About 65% of this park, which is approximately 1.5 times larger than Prince Edward Island in area, is open for commercial logging (Wilson, 2014). The logging of this park has negative effects on its ecosystem. According to Wilson, at least 16 species of this park are at risk (2014), however, he does not clearly correlate this threat to logging in his article. Nonetheless, in their study, Jones et al. prove that logging in Algonquin Park affects patterns of tree diversity. Moreover, it has been proven that it also decreases or in some cases increases the richness of certain species. For example, the richness of bees and click beetles were increased in Algonquin as a result of harvesting Sugar Maple and Yellow Birch (Nol et al., 2006). Additionally, bird habitats and nesting sites get destroyed in the process (Creasey, 2013). Logging activities have a negative impact on air quality as well since there are many roads and vehicles dedicated to them (Ontario Parks & AFA, 2009).

 

Why is this a wicked problem?

It might seem like this is a simple problem; the logging of trees is detrimental to ecosystem of the park, therefore, logging should be prohibited. However, when we get a deeper look at this problem, we understand that it’s more complicated than that. Balancing the increased protection of the park and maintaining adequate wood supply for local mills is very challenging (Ontario Parks & AFA, 2009). The main decision makers for this problem are the Ministry of Natural Resources and Algonquin Forestry Authority. The decisions these entities make affect many people and organizations. One of the key stakeholders is the forest industry. The people in the industry presume that reducing the availability of areas for logging will limit opportunities for future investments and diversification in the industry. Additionally, many jobs will be lost as a result and the local economy will be threatened (Ontario Parks & AFA, 2009). In opposition to this idea, environmentalists and environmental organizations believe that logging is a disturbance that could be harmful to the environment if it’s done excessively or not properly. In addition to these social conflicts, scientists have given contradictory results about the harmful effects of logging. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, there’s proof that logging could be harmful to the environment. However, some studies show that the ecosystem is not altered as a result of logging but it adapts to it. For example, Mancuso et al. prove that selection logging does not modify behaviour of sapsuckers—a woodpecker species—significantly; they still successfully use the available trees (2013).

In their book, Balint et al. define ‘wicked problems’ as problems in which “scientific uncertainty coexists with value uncertainty and conflict” (2012, p.9). According to this definition, logging of Algonquin Park is a ‘wicked problem’ since there are differences in values of the forest industry and environmental organizations as well as conflicting findings in various scientific studies.

 

Recommendations

Ontario Parks board and Algonquin Forestry Authority board have given recommendations to manage this problem. They consulted key stakeholders for these recommendations to keep both sides as content as possible. Here is a summary of the recommendations:

  • “Recognition of areas not available for forest management
  • Expansion of protection zones
  • Proposed operational and planning strategies
  • Implementation strategies” (Ontario Parks & AFA, 2009)IMG_0220 (1)

 

Sources:

Balint, P. J., Stewart, R. E., Desal, A. & Walters, L. C. (2012). Wicked Environmental Problems: Managing uncertainty and Conflict. Retrieved from: https://books.google.ca/books?id=H_6XyO9rQqgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=wicked+environmental+problems&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAGoVChMI0tKt0qWRyAIV1SmICh2PFwFV#v=onepage&q&f=false

Creasey, M. L. (2013). Black-throated blue warbler (setophaga caerulescens ) nesting success and nest site selection in the single-tree selection harvested forests of algonquin provincial park, canada (Order No. MR93875). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1399560762). Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/docview/1399560762?accountid=14656

Jones, B., Molenda, O., Hayward, C., D’Aguiar, M., Miller, N., Rye, L. & Cottenie, K. (2011). Patterns of tree diversity in response to logging in Algonquin Provincial Park. Studies by Undergraduate Researchers at Guelph, 4:2, pp. 56-62.

Mancuso, K., Nol, E., Burke, D. & Elliot, K. (2014). Effects of selection logging on Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sap-feeding habits in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 44:10, pp.1236-1243. Retrieved from: http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/full/10.1139/cjfr-2013-0498#.VgTaE2TBzGd

Nol, E., Douglas, H., & Crins, W. (2006). Responses of syrphids, elaterids and bees to single-tree selection harvesting in algonquin provincial park, ontario. Canadian Field-Naturalist, 120(1), 15-21.

Ontario Parks Board of Directors & Algonquin Forestry Authority Board of Directors. (2009, September 15). Joint Proposal for Lightening the Ecological Footprint of Logging in Algonquin Park. Retrieved from: http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/planning_pdf/algo/algo_joint_proposal.pdf

Wilson, H. (2014, December 3). Environmental commissioner decries in Algonquin. Canadian Geographic. Retrieved from: http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/blog/posting.asp?ID=1388