Where We Are

The Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society’s main license area is shown below in red. It can be accessed two ways:

East of Barriere along Barriere Lakes Rd then the South Lake FSR

or

South of Barriere along Agate Bay Rd then the Dixon FSR

LNTCFS Area Map

The LNTCFS offers an emergency exit for residents in the Barriere Lakes area who can use the wikkiup connector (yellow signs posted) to provide an escape route through the community forest to Agate Bay Rd. If you live in this area we recommend checking out this route in case of an emergency arises.

Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC)

The Community Forest is currently situated in the Interior Cedar Hemlock (ICH) ( green) and the Interior Douglas-fir (IDF) (yellow) BEC zones. BEC classification relies on information about the topography, climate, soils, and plant species growing in specific regions- using these indicators one can determine which subzone they are in. To learn more about the BEC system click here.

The main trees species in the ICH are:

  • western redcedar (Thuja plicata)
  • western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)
  • Paper Birch (Betula papyifera)
  • Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
  • hybrid spruce (Picea engelmannii x glauca)
  • Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides) and
  • lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta).

The ICH zone is dubbed the “Interior Rain forest” and is the most productive zone in the interior with very good species diversity.

The main tree species found in the IDF are:

  • Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
  • hybrid spruce (Picea engelmannii x glauca)
  • Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides) and
  • lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta).

The IDF is most notably identified by the various grass species in the understory. This is the second warmest forest zone in interior BC. This is an important habitat for mule deer as their winter range is found within the IDF whose denser canopy provides snow interception and thermal insulation.

At higher elevations these zones transition into the Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir (ESSF) zone (purple). Other tree species which occur in the Community forest include Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), western white pine (Pinus monticola), rocky mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) and Black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa). To learn more about BC’s tree species click here.

The maps below were created using the web version of the ClimateBC model created by the Center for Forest Conservation Genetics (CFCG) based out of UBC.

Current BEC Zones

Current BEC Zones (Source: ClimateBC) Colour code: ICH = green, IDF = yellow, MS = pink, ESSF = purple

Climate Change and the Community Forest

Using the models provided in ClimateBC, a projection can be made for what the climate could be like in the future and therefore where the associated BEC zone may shift. The map below shows the projection for 2050 in the LNTCFS area. The prediction shows an increase in the area classified as IDF with the ICH moving up in elevation and decreasing in area. This is due to predictions that indicate increases in mean annual temperature and decreases in mean annual precipitation.

Projected BEC Zones 2050 (Source: ClimateBC) Colour code: ICH = green, IDF = yellow, MS = pink, ESSF = purple

Projected BEC Zones 2050 (Source: ClimateBC) Colour code: IDF = yellow, ICH = green, ESSF = purple, MS = pink, PP = orange

Here is a picture from the BC Climate Explorer model showing the predicted changes in local climate (mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation) based on different RCPs designed by the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Climate normals (1971-2000 30-year averages) for each BEC subzone are represented by the grey dots. These historic climates for each BEC zone have been projected into the future in order to assess what future conditions may look like. This model predicts a shift toward Ponderosa pine and Bunchgrass ecosystems which would be very different that the ecosystems and climates seen today on our current landscape.

ClimateExplorer_8.4

Models are predictive tools, each with their own limitations and advantages. Be careful to assess the underlying assumptions of each model in order to provide conservative predictions on what the future COULD be.