Woodjam Watershed, 25 kilometers East of Horsefly, was one of five case studies that were done recently by the Forest Practices Board.
They were examining how forest and range practices are protecting fish habitat under the Forest and Range Practices Act.
“So what we looked at was whether or not Forest and Range Practices were having an impact on fish habitat”, said Kevin Kriese, chair, Forest Practices Board, “That means things like how well it’s protecting riparian value, how well the stream channel is, looking at things like sediment. We actually did about 5 days in the field looking at real practices on the ground in the five watersheds”.
When asked how well the Woodjam Watershed fared Kriese said “It did ok. There were two areas where some stuff we saw across the province, that was really good, was the fish passage and riparian management, particularly in the Woodjam Watershed we saw some really great examples of both of those”.
Kriese said two areas they were concerned about and would require improvement, were sediment from roads and there was some range use that was impacting the stream channel, which, as soon as the Ministry and range holder became aware of the problem, took action to address this specific issue.
Kriese was pleased with a couple of action plans that were previously put in place for the Woodjam Watershed.
“The Cariboo Chilcotin Water Use Plan put specific riparian management buffers in place 20 years ago, and recently The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and the Rural Development put a fish sense of watershed over this watershed because of its value and those 2 provisions appear to be giving this particular watershed some pretty good protection. If they really saw significant improvement in sediment management, we would call this watershed well managed”.
The Forest Practices Board is BC’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government.