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Stephen Mitchell, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry, stephen.mitchell@ubc.ca (Presenter)
Mike Buffo, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, mike.buffo@dnr.wa.gov
Bill Stephen, City of Vancouver, Park Board, bill.stephen@vancouver.ca

 

On December 15, 2006 an extra-tropical cyclone severely damaged 30 hectares and partially damaged 50 hectares of the 250-forested hectares in Stanley Park. This large park is immediately adjacent to Vancouver's dense urban core and provides over 8 million visitors per year the opportunity to experience west coast rainforests. The peninsula was logged with oxen prior to establishment of the park in 1888. Large remnant Douglas-fir and redcedar are surrounded by younger hemlock, Douglas-fir, red alder and other species, native and exotic. Windstorms in 1934 and 1962 damaged substantial portions of the forest. Following the 1962 storm, damaged areas were cleared and planted to Douglas-fir in rows at 1.5 m spacing. In the aftermath of the 2006 storm, members of the public, corporations and governments donated $10 million to re-open and restore the park. Local academics and professionals stepped forward to assist the Park Board, who maintained open communication with the public throughout what was potentially a very contentious planning and implementation process. The principle goals of the restoration process were to protect visitors from harm, re-open roads and trails, minimize the potential for wildfire or beetle outbreaks, and to promote recovery of a resilient rainforest ecosystem. Examining the conditions and recent history of the park, it became clear that the park's forests are inherently susceptible to recurrent windstorms. To monitor post-storm stand development and inform prescriptions, we established 150 plots across the park, and projected growth of selected plots using FVS. Without management, many ecosystems in the park experience dense infill of hemlock. The resulting prescriptions promote a diversity of conifer and broadleaf species, while promoting mechanical stability.