Part I (C-1) - MAP OF THE TERRITORY OF APPLICATION OF CHAPTER 3
Part II (C-2) - MOSAIC CUTTING WITH PROTECTION OF REGENERATION AND SOILS
Cutting with protection of regeneration and soils carried out in such a way as to preserve an area of forest between two cutting areas that is at least equivalent in area to the stand harvested.
B) Evaluation criteria
Given that the goal is to offer an alternative to the use of separator strips in a given area, logging operations must therefore be distributed so as to promote and maintain, both temporally and spatially, a set of blocks of different shapes and sizes. Thus:
a) for each logging sector identified in an integrated operational forest development plan (PAFIO), the resi-dual stands to be preserved and those to be cut are shown clearly on maps;
b) subject to the forest development strategies adopted in the tactical integrated forest development plan (PAFIT), in the first phase, logging priority is given to the most mature stands, in order to minimize timber losses;
c) the harvested areas vary in size. At least 20% of the blocks must be less than fifty (50) hectares and at least 70% must be less than one hundred (100) hectares. No more than 30% of the blocks are larger than one hundred (100) hectares, and no block may exceed one hundred and fifty (150) hectares;
d) the residual stands to be preserved are located in priority in mixed forests, as they are relatively rare and play an important role as wildlife habitats;
e) the forest to be preserved between two cutting areas is at least equal in size to the area of the stand harvested (this equivalency may also be calculated for a set of stands located within an annual harvesting sector);
f) the residual forest is composed of productive forest stands more than seven (7) meters high (this will include many remaining stands of twelve (12) meters high, in light of the present composition of the standing forest);
g) the residual forest between two cutting areas is at least two hundred (200) meters wide (long strips of unvarying width must be avoided);
h) the residual forest is left standing for a period long enough to allow the new growth to achieve the required level of development (minimum three (3) meters);
i) except for protective strips described at paragraph a) of section 3.12.1 of Chapter 3 of this Agreement, no residual forest may overlay an existing legally protected area or a site described at section 3.13 of Chapter 3 of this Agreement unless the cree tallyman agrees otherwise.
Part III (C-3) - MAINTENANCE OF A FOREST COVER
A) Hardwood Component in the Whole of each Cree Trapline
In pre-commercial thinning and stand release operations, special attention is given to the conservation of different habitats. For example, it is possible to:
— preserve a certain number of small fruit trees such as sorb and cherry trees;
— preserve hardwood trees in open spaces where there are no coniferous trees;
— provide for operations to be spread over two phases, two (2) or three (3) years apart, in sectors where large regenerated areas are the object of such work;
— on certain rich sites conducive to good hardwood growth, promote the maintaining of enough hardwood trees to ensure the development of mixed forests.
B) Protection of Pre-established Regeneration in the Whole of each Cree Trapline
To limit the impacts of extensive logging in the Territory, it is important to improve the protection given to pre-established regeneration, especially tall regeneration whose presence shortens the revegetation period and restores good habitats for small wildlife species such as hare.
When the conditions allow, cuttings with protection of regeneration and soils must be carried out under a special framework in order to protect tall regeneration. To do this, the following is required:
— adopt appropriate logging techniques (such as multifunctional cutting heads) that leave the best regenerating trees intact;
— select appropriate hauling equipment to limit damage to the new growth;
— survey the new growth before logging, in order to identify the stands that have tall under-storey regeneration.
C) Mixed Forest Stands Development Strategy
Given the importance of mixed stands as wildlife habitats and their rarity in the Territory, it is necessary to develop a distinct development approach for these stands. To this effect, a development guide applicable specifically to the mixed forests is elaborated by the Ministre in close collaboration with the CNG prior to April 1st, 2018. The wildlife and forest-related development objectives will be described, as well as the operational methods required to maintain and renew these stands (logging techniques, features of the stands to be preserved, etc). A copy of the development guide is forwarded to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board for comment and recommendation.
D) Wildlife Habitat Development Directives
Prior to April 1st, 2018, the Ministre elaborates, in close collaboration with the CNG, practical directives guiding the forest development planning process in order to foster the protection and development of wildlife habitats. The Ministre retains the required services of governmental expertise in this field. A copy of the directives is forwarded to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board for comment and recommendation.
Part IV (C-4) - ELABORATION, CONSULTATION AND MONITORING OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT PLANS
OBJECTIVES OF THE JOINT WORKING GROUPS
1. Without restricting the generality of the provisions of the present Agreement, the creation of joint working groups in the concerned Cree communities has, amongst others, the following objectives:
— to ensure the real and significant participation of the Crees in the planning of forest development activities in the Territory in keeping with the principles established in the Agreement;
— to ensure that forest development takes into account the protection of wildlife habitats, and;
— to resolve disputes between users in regard to forestry as they arise.
OBJECTIVES OF LOCAL INTEGRATED LAND AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PANELS
2. The integrated resource management table and the local integrated land and resource management panels established in accordance with the Sustainable Forest Development Act and the Agreement on Governance in the James Bay Eeyou Istchee Territory between the Cree of Eeyou Istchee and the Gouvernement du Québec (hereinafter referred to as “local integrated land and resource management panels”) are respectively set up to pursue the following goals:
a) on the Category II lands of the Territory, to ensure that the interests and concerns of the Cree are taken into account, to set local sustainable forest development objectives and to agree upon measures for the harmonization of uses. Prior to this, the CNG takes concerted action with the Cree tallymen and other Cree stakeholders concerned in this respect;
b) on the Category III lands of the Territory to ensure that the interests and concerns of the relevant Crees and the relevant Jamésiens are taken into account, to set local sustainable forest development objectives and to agree upon measures for the harmonization of uses. Prior to this, the EIJBRG takes concerted action with all the relevant Cree and Jamésiens stakeholders in this respect. Cree and Jamésiens stakeholders are equally represented on those panels.
CONSULTATION WITH CREE TALLYMEN AND OTHER RELEVANT CREE STAKEHOLDERS
3. The joint working groups consult with the Cree tallymen and other relevant Cree stakeholders about forest development activities in order to provide information to the local integrated land and resource management panels prior to the elaboration and consultation process related to forest development plans.
Concerning the Category II lands of the Territory, these consultations are carried out under the supervision of the CNG, as provided for by section 2a) of this schedule. In addition, representatives of the Ministre who are members of the relevant local integrated land and resource management panels, may be invited to take part in the meetings of the joint working groups.
A) ELABORATION AND CONSULTATION PROCESS FOR FOREST DEVELOPMENT PLANS
4. The planning process is afterwards implemented in accordance with the measures provided for by the adapted forestry regime and in a manner to take into account the local objectives and the harmonization measures agreed upon by the local integrated land and resource management panels.
TACTICAL INTEGRATED FOREST DEVELOPMENT PLAN (PAFIT)
As stipulated in the Sustainable Forest Development Act, the tactical plan covers a five-year period and contains, among other things, the allowable cuts assigned to the unit, the sustainable forest development objectives, the forest development strategies adopted to ensure that allowable cuts are respected and its objectives are achieved, and the location of the main infrastructures and the areas of increased timber production. In the event the Ministre identifies potential areas of increased timber production in the Territory, the Ministre shall consult with the Crees.
Preparing the Tactical Plan
5. The tactical plan contains a Cree section presenting the location of the sites of interest to the Cree and the forested areas presenting wildlife interest for the Cree. It also contains a statistical overview of the state of the forest in the whole of the Cree trapline, and in the sites of interest to the Cree and the forested areas presenting wildlife interest for the Cree. In addition, it contains a register of the tactical harmonization measures adopted by the Ministre which concern the Crees. The Cree section is not subject to the public consultation process provided for by section 11 of this schedule, neither is it forwarded, as provided for by section 6 thereafter, to the relevant local integrated land and resource management panel in the Category III lands of the Territory.
6. Following the preparation of the draft tactical plan, the Ministre submits it to the relevant local integrated land and resource management panel, in order to ensure that its content is compatible with the interests and concerns of the relevant Cree stakeholders and, with regard to the Category III lands of the Territory, with those of the relevant Jamésien stakeholders. The panel must submit its recommendations to the Ministre no later than thirty (30) days after it receives the draft tactical plan.
With respect to Category II lands of the Territory, each party of the local integrated land and resource management panel can request that a concern, an interest or a local sustainable forest development objective determined by this panel and that has not been taken into account by the Ministre be submitted to a committee composed of a person designated by the CNG and a person designated by the sous-ministre des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs from his office. This committee has thirty (30) days, after receipt of this request, to submit its recommendations to the Ministre. The Ministre informs the parties of his decision and his reasons thereof.
With respect to Category III lands of the Territory, a local integrated land and resource management panel can request that a concern, an interest or a local sustainable forest development objective determined by this panel and that has not been taken into account by the Ministre be submitted, with the consent of the EIJBRG, to a committee composed of a person designated by the EIJBRG and a person designated by the sous-ministre des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs from his office. This committee has thirty (30) days, after the reception of this request, to submit its recommendations to the Ministre. The Ministre informs the parties of his decision and his reasons thereof.
7. The Ministre adjusts the draft plan if necessary.
Finalization of the Tactical Plan
8. The plan is sent to the joint working groups in each community, and to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board, which ensures that it is processed in accordance with its mandate.
9. No later than thirty (30) days after receiving the plan, the joint working groups transmit their recommendations concerning the submitted plan to the Ministre and to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board, and request any modifications that may be necessary.
10. The Ministre adjusts the plan if necessary.
11. The public consultation is then held by:
a) with regard to planning of forest development activities of the Category II lands of the Territory, the local integrated land and resource management panel;
b) with regard to planning of forest development activities of the Category III lands of the Territory, the EIJBRG;
The body responsible of public consultation sends to the Ministre, no later than thirty (30) days after the public consultation, a report summarizing the comments obtained in the course of the consultation and propose any solutions it deems appropriate where divergent opinions exist.
The Ministre participates in the public consultation in order to provide explanations on the content of the plan.
12. The joint working groups may at this stage assist the concerned communities to participate in the consultations, if the council of each Cree community so chooses, within the framework of the public consultation process.
13. If necessary, the Ministre adjusts the plan before deciding on the date on which it will come into force.
Modifications to the Tactical Plan
14. Amendments to the tactical plan are subject to the same preparation and finalization process as described above.
INTEGRATED OPERATIONAL FOREST DEVELOPMENT PLAN (PAFIO)
As provided for by the Sustainable Forest Development Act, the operational plan basically sets out the forest operations zones in which timber harvesting or other forest development activities are planned under the tactical plan. It also contains the harmonization measures adopted by the Ministre.
15. More precisely, the PAFIO covers the period when the PAFIT applies which corresponds to a period of five (5) years.
The PAFIO also contains a register of the operational harmonization measures of land use adopted by the Ministre and which concern the Crees. This register is not subject to the public consultation process provided for by Section 27 of this Schedule, neither is it forwarded, pursuant to section 17, to the relevant local integrated land and resource management panel in the Category III lands of the Territory.
Preparation of the Operational Plan
16. Prior to the drafting of the PAFIO, the CNG forwards to the Ministre information it holds which is provided by the tallymen and which could be required for the elaboration process of the PAFIO. The joint working groups may organise meetings between Cree tallymen and the Ministre to favour a deeper understanding of the information thus forwarded. The frequency of these meetings is determined by the joint working groups.
17. Following the preparation of the draft PAFIO, it is sent to the relevant local integrated land and resource management panel, to ensure that its content is compatible with the interests and concerns of the relevant Cree stakeholders and, with regard to the Category III lands of the Territory, whith those of the relevant Jamésien stakeholders
18. Following the preparation of the draft PAFIO, the Ministre and the Cree tallyman shall cooperate concerning its content, particularly regarding the choice of location of residual forest blocks to be conserved in the forested areas presenting wildlife interest for the Cree, regarding the road network development and the improvement or repair of impassable roads, regarding the identification of important spawning grounds and regarding harmonization measures to prevent conflictual uses. Amongst other things, the exercise is aimed at allowing the Crees to transmit Cree knowledge that will permit the identification of all their concerns other than the locations of sites of special interest and the forested areas presenting wildlife interest already provided, or any other information relative to those elements composing the Cree section of the PAFIT implemented by the PAFIO. The joint working groups ensure that the Cree tallymen take part in this consultation exercise. Holders of a timber supply guarantee and holders of permits to harvest timber to supply a wood processing plant may be invited to this consultation exercise by the joint working groups.
19. The joint working groups shall provide the necessary support for the resolution of conflicts between the activities of the Crees and forest development activities. These conflicts may be raised as much by the community councils, the Cree Tallymen or by Cree users designated by a Cree Tallyman. The joint working group shall encourage direct dialogue between the parties concerned so as to favour the harmonization of land use. To achieve this, the joint working group may, for example, initiate meetings and provide the information necessary for the resolution of the conflict. Moreover, it shall document and examine these disputes and find solutions that are acceptable to the parties. If no acceptable solution is found, the coordinators examine the dispute and act as mediators.
20. If the mediation fails or at the expiry of a period of forty-five (45) days, both coordinators shall submit a joint statement of the situation to the Ministre together with their recommendations, whether such recommendations are unanimous or not. The Ministre shall thereafter appoint a conciliator. The conciliator shall be the chairman of the Cree-Québec Forestry Board or a person that is independent of the parties and of the holders of timber supply guarantee or of the holders of permits to harvest timber to supply a wood processing plant operating in the Territory, whom will be chosen from a list prepared in advance by the Cree-Québec Forestry Board.
21. The conciliator shall examine the dispute, shall hear the parties and shall present his recommendations to the parties and to the Ministre, at the latest forty-five (45) days after his appointment. The Ministre decides on the measures to apply and informs the parties of his decisions and the reasons therefore. The Ministre sends a copy of his decision to the concerned joint working groups and to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board.
22. The result of the conciliation shall not modify the results of the PAFIT elaboration process and in particular the information provided by the Cree tallyman concerning sites of interest to the Cree and forested areas presenting wildlife interest for the Cree.
23. The Ministre adjusts the draft plan if necessary.
Finalization of the PAFIO
24. The Ministre carries out an internal analysis of the PAFIO to ensure that the applicable provisions of the section entitled “Modalities of the adapted forestry regime” in Chapter 3 of this Agreement are respected, and forwards the results to the joint working groups.
25. The PAFIO shall be sent to the joint working groups of each community as well as to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board, which will treat the plan in conformity with its mandate.
26. Within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the plan, the joint working groups shall forward to the Ministre and to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board their recommendations regarding the plan submitted and shall ask, if applicable, for any necessary corrections. The joint working groups ensure, among other things, that the PAFIO respects the Cree section of the PAFIT.
27. The public consultations are then held by:
a) with regard to planning of forest development activities of the Category II lands of the Territory, the local integrated land and resource management panel;
b) with regard to planning of forest development activities of the Category III lands of the Territory, the EIJBRG.
The body responsible of the public consultation sends to the Ministre, no later than 30 days after the public consultation, a report summarizing the comments obtained in the course of said public consultation and proposes any solutions it deems appropriate where divergent opinions exist.
The Ministre participates to the public consultation in order to provide explanations on the contents of the plan.
28. The joint working groups may at this stage assist the concerned communities to participate in the consultations, if the council of each Cree community so chooses, within the framework of the public consultation process.
29. The joint working groups or certain of their members may seize the Cree-Québec Forestry Board of any dispute, problem or concern relative to the PAFIO, and the Board shall treat the matter in conformity with its mandate.
30. If necessary, the Ministre adjusts the plan before deciding on the date on which it will come into force. The Ministre then sends a notice to the Cree party of the joint working group and to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board, and sends a copy of any amendments to the joint working group.
Modifications to the PAFIO
31. Modifications to the PAFIO that require a modification of the forest development activities provided for in the plan (changes in the field activities) are subject to the same process of preparation and finalization as that previously described.
Annual selection of forest operations zones
32. Each year, the Ministre selects within the PAFIO twice as many forest operation zones than what he can actually authorize during a single year, in order to enhance flexibility in the operational management of timber harvesting or of other forest development activities. The Ministre and the Cree tallyman shall cooperate concerning the content of the annual selection and hold a meeting, at least once a year, for this purpose. The joint working groups ensure that the Cree tallymen take part in this consultation exercise. Holders of a timber supply guarantee and holders of permits to harvest timber to supply a wood processing plant may be invited to this consultation exercise by the joint working groups.
32.1 Each year, the Ministre submits the annual selection to the joint working groups. In the event joint working groups identify problems or concerns regarding its content, they have thirty (30) days after receipt to submit their recommendations to the Ministre.
32.2 The Ministre adjusts the annual selection if necessary and adds to the register referred to in section 15 of this schedule any harmonization measure which is agreed upon, provided that section 31 of this schedule applies to any modification to the PAFIO which substantially change the planned forest development activities.
32.3 Forest operations zones included in an annual selection and which have to be carried over the following year, are presented again by the Ministre to the joint working groups. They may decide to invite the Ministre and the Cree tallyman to a new meeting regarding these forest operations zones.
Conformity of harvesting activities
33. Every year, the Ministre presents to the joint working groups and their coordinators the shapefile of all harvesting activities authorised by the Ministre, and the internal conformity analysis of these activities with the annual statistics of the present Agreement.
B) MONITORING OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT PLANS
Annual monitoring of forest development activities
34. The annual monitoring of forest development activities is aimed at ensuring the respect of the development strategies described in the PAFIT and the activities forecasted in the PAFIO. The forestry monitoring extends to the volumes of wood harvested, the silvicultural treatments undertaken and the application of the standards of forestry development.
35. In the Territory, particular attention shall be given, notably by the joint working groups, to monitor the application of the standards described in the present Agreement as well as the other measures that are set out in the forest development plans, particularly the measures of the Cree section of the PAFIT and those stated in the operational harmonization measures register.
In this context, the joint working groups may act as liaison agent with the planning officers of the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, to favour an adequate implementation of the operational harmonization measures by holders of timber supply guarantee, holders of permits to harvest timber to supply a wood processing plant and purchasers of standing timber from the Bureau de mise en marché des bois.
36. When they deem it necessary, the joint working groups shall be involved in the process of establishing the program of the annual verification of interventions undertaken by the Ministre. The program includes notably the list of works and standards that will be verified, such as the standards set out in paragraphs c) and d) of section 3.11 of Chapter 3 and paragraph c) of Schedule C-2 of this Agreement, as well as the sampling methods that will be used.
37. The involvement of the joint working groups can take place at the stage of elaborating the annual program or upon receipt of a proposed program from the Ministre. In the latter case, the joint working groups may propose modifications to this annual program. The joint working groups make the necessary recommendations in both cases.
38. In the event that the Ministre refuses to integrate these recommendations into the annual verification program, he explains his position and shall inform the joint working groups or their members of the reasons for not accepting their recommendations.
39. The results of the forest development verification shall be provided to the joint working groups in the form of periodic progress reports on the work and in the form of annual statements of the forest development monitoring, which are prepared by the Ministre. The joint working groups first decide on the method of presenting this annual statement.
40. To allow members of the joint working groups to familiarize themselves with the various forest development activities undertaken as well as the methods of verification applied, joint visits of on-site monitoring operations in Cree traplines shall take place during the season, at a frequency to be determined by the joint working groups.
41. In addition, the information contained in the reports received by the Ministre from any person or body carrying out forest development activities in the forests in the domain of the State are provided to the joint working groups.
42. The joint working groups or their members may make recommendations to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board and to the Ministre regarding any issue connected to the monitoring of forest development activities or such activities. The Cree-Québec Forestry Board may, upon request, obtain copies of documents produced within the framework of the annual monitoring of forest development activities.
Monitoring of the evolution of the forest
43. Each year, the Ministre performs evaluations to assess the evolution of the forest. These inventories permit an evaluation of whether the works previously performed are likely to produce the expected results. These inventories also make it possible to evaluate the evolution of the natural regeneration of forests following forest development activities.
44. To ensure that this monitoring also reflects Cree concerns, the joint working groups shall be involved in the process of establishing its program. The program includes, among other things, the list of works that will be verified as well as the sampling methods that will be used.
45. The joint working groups shall inform the Cree-Québec Forestry Board of proposals for sampling methods for the protection of wildlife habitats.
46. The joint working groups may be involved at the program elaboration stage, or upon receipt of a proposed program from the Ministre. In the latter case, the joint working groups may propose modifications to the program. In both cases, they may make recommendations.
47. The results of the forest development verification are sent to the joint working groups and to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board.
48. The joint working groups or their members may make recommendations to the Cree-Québec Forestry Board and to the Ministre concerning the current state of the forest.
49. Every five (5) years, the Ministre provides the members of the joint working groups with a report concerning the verification and monitoring of the application of the standards and measures set out in the Agreement for each Cree trapline. The report will also contain a description of the state of regeneration for each development unit.
Monitoring of the forest development plans and the standards of this adapted forestry regime
50. When the joint working groups find forestry operations that are not in conformity with the PAFIT or the PAFIO in force, or with other standards of this adapted forestry regime, that the regeneration is inadequate, or any other problem resulting from forest development activities, they shall immediately inform the Cree-Québec Forestry Board and the Ministre, and make recommendations concerning the measures to be taken.
C) TRANSITIONAL MEASURES
51. Following the set-up of the local integrated land and resource management panel on the Category II lands of the Territory, the Ministre consults this panel regarding the PAFIT in force in order to ensure that the interests and concerns of the relevant Crees are taken into account, to set local sustainable forest development objectives and to agree upon measures for the harmonization of uses. Following this consultation, the Ministre adjusts the plan if required.
52. Following the set-up of the integrated land and resource management panels by the EIJBRG, the Ministre consults these panels regarding the PAFIT in force in order to ensure that the interests and concerns of the relevant Crees and the relevant Jamésiens are taken into account, to set local sustainable forest development objectives and to agree upon measures for the harmonization of uses. Following this consultation, the Ministre adjusts the plan if required.
Part V (C-5) – GUIDE
PREPARATION OF SPECIAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR TIMBER DAMAGED BY NATURAL DISTURBANCES
In December 2003, the parties agreed on an addition to Chapter 3 of the Agreement Concerning a New Relationship between le Gouvernement du Québec and the Crees of Québec (“the Agreement”), with a view of setting out the rules governing the salvage of timber damaged by natural disturbances.
Subsequently, following harmonization of the adapted forestry regime and the new forest regime described in the Sustainable Forest Development Act, the parties decided, in 2013, to produce a Guide setting out a framework for producing special development plans, which would become a schedule to Chapter 3 of the Agreement.
The Guide applies to every timber salvage operation and every operation designed to bring back production, carried out following a natural disturbance in the territory of the Agreement, as stated at section 3.3. Consequently, all salvage and production restoration activities must be carried out so as to:
(a) mitigate the ecological and environmental impacts;
(b) mitigate the impacts on animal populations;
(c) mitigate the impacts on the Cree traditional way of life;
(d) mitigate other social impacts;
(e) generate positive economic spin-offs for Cree and non-Cree employment; and
(f) mitigate the negative impacts for timber stocks.
All the steps and procedures presented in this guide have been prepared using the ecosystem-based approach. Therefore, timber damaged by natural disturbances can be salvaged, but salvage operations must allow the ecological integrity of the disturbed ecosystem to be maintained. Five main goals are proposed as guidelines:
1. Preservation of biodiversity:
— Maintain sufficient diversity in fire-damaged stands.
— Reproduce the footprint left by the natural disturbance in terms of natural forest attributes.
2. Protection of forest soils and water quality.
3. Development of natural regeneration.
4. Social acceptability.
5. Compliance with the principles of the Agreement.
As stated in articles 3.5 and 3.75 of the Agreement:
“3.5 Subject to adaptations and modifications resulting from the adapted forestry regime for the Territory, Québec’s forest standards apply in the Territory. Subject to section 3.75 of this Chapter, such adaptations and modifications shall not be interpreted so as to restrict or limit these standards.”
“3.75 Subject to the provisions of the JBNQA, in the case of a conflict or incompatibility between the Sustainable Forest Development Act and the regulations thereunder or any other related law and the present adapted forestry regime, the provisions of the adapted forestry regime shall take precedence to the degree necessary to resolve such conflict or incompatibility.”
The following terms have the following meaning:
“Dead tree”: A tree whose cambium layer is dead throughout the base circumference. The leaves or needles may remain on the tree for some time, but are no longer green.
“Fire-damaged retention forest”: A fire-damaged forest, regardless of whether or not it is suitable for harvesting based on forest maturity criteria, which is left in place as part of a special development plan.
“Patch of fire-damaged trees”: A group of dead trees or trees at an advanced stage of decline, which were partially or completely burned.
“Patch of live trees”: A group of trees covering more than a hectare that have not been damaged by fire and exhibit no trace of fire damage at ground level or on their trunks or canopies.
“Natural disturbance”: A forest fire, windfall, insect epidemics or cryptogamic diseases likely to trigger salvage operations.
“Ecosystem-based salvage”: An ecological approach applied to planning and implementation of salvage operations in forests disturbed by fire, aimed at ensuring preservation of biodiversity and viability in all the forest ecosystems while meeting socio-economic needs with due respect for the social values associated with the forest environment.
“Productive forest area”: An area used for forestry, i.e. a natural forest or plantation, capable of producing 30 m3 of timber per hectare (10 cm and over) in less than 120 years (Ecoforest Mapping Standard, 1999).
Methodologies and Preparation of Special Plans
Tools to be used when preparing a special plan
In view of the requirements to be met when preparing a special plan, the MFFP’s planners cannot rely solely on standard ecoforest maps.
To begin preparing a plan, the MFFP will require:
– A satellite image to a resolution of 30 m/pixel or less
– The fire characterization map produced by the SOPFEU, or
– An in-house characterization produced in partnership with the Crees (joint flight)
– A tool to predict the regeneration potential of the fire-damaged forests (optional)
Planning and Harvesting Conditions
A. Ecosystem-based salvage
The following conditions will be applied in traplines where salvage operations are likely to be carried out.
The ecosystem-based approach specific to special plans, developed by the MFFP, will be applied in traplines where salvage operations are to be carried out. Under this approach, at least 30% of mature fire-damaged forest will be left in place as part of a special development plan, to allow for maintenance of ecosystem viability.
A.1) Management of patches of live tree
In all cases, the following principles must be applied to patches of live trees located in fire-damaged areas:
– Undamaged stands within the fire’s boundaries should not be harvested, provided they cover at least one hectare and are at least 50 metres wide.
– Crossings are permitted in patches of live trees, but must not exceed 6 metres in width.
– All patches of undamaged forest within the fire perimeter must be preserved.
– Maintenance of a certain percentage will be managed operationally, when harvesting work is carried out, depending on local constraints.
A.2) Typology used
To ensure that a representative portion of fire-damaged retention forest is maintained, the area located inside the fire perimeter is characterized and broken down to show what has and has not been damaged by the fire (live vs. burned). A typology of damaged stand types, taking into account commercial stand values (mature, immature and unproductive) is used to decide on the area that will be maintained as a retention forest. A typology (six to ten types) based on a superposition of fire coverage severity and a group of ecological types is used for this.
A.3) Retention calculation
After six years of using a method in which the percentage of retention forest to be left standing was variable, the parties have now agreed to apply a single retention percentage (30%). This scenario will apply to all fires and windfalls in the territory, regardless of the level of trapline disturbance.
Thirty percent of the fire-damaged forest must be retained for each burn area.
Fire-damaged retention forests are required only in the mature portion of the fire-damaged forest (established using forest maturity criteria).
For mature stands, all elements to be left in place as a result of the various constraints and retention forest requirements are identified and compiled, and the contribution of these areas to the achievement of the retention forest target is calculated. Large retention blocks (over 20 ha), intermediate retention blocks (from 4 ha to 20 ha) and sparse retention blocks (under 4 ha) are included in the calculation.
A.4) Characteristics of retention forests
The contribution of the unsalvaged forest is compared to that of the harvested forest to check for gaps in the diversity of harvest types, identified in section A.2.
To ensure that the retention forest plays its role to the full, its size and shape must reflect certain factors. The plan should be guided by the following aims:
– Ensure that at least 50% of the retention forest is composed of blocks of more than 20 ha.
– Maintain several large blocks (and blocks of varying sizes) rather than a single-block retention forest, to ensure that all stand types are represented properly, and to ensure connectivity for the fire-damaged ecosystem.
– Make sure the different types of stands are properly represented within the blocks.
When fire-damaged retention forests must be added to make up for the gaps identified in the gap analysis, wherever possible a strip of fire-damaged forest should be left around certain types of live patches of more than one hectare, or around burn area peninsulas.
To ensure connectivity between retention forests, they should, as far as possible, be linked by strips of forest alongside watercourses, or by other forest strips.
To ensure that retention forests (fire-damaged and live) are distributed evenly, and to limit any visual impacts, 100% of the logged areas must be located less than 500 metres from retention forest areas of 10 ha or more. To address concerns regarding the visual impact of logging, the parties agree to limit the size of single-block logging areas to no more than 350 ha, by leaving wooded strips where necessary (separated by strips of at least 200 m in the case of blocks covering more than 300 hectares, and strips of at least 40 m in the case of blocks covering less than 300 hectares).
The same precautions as those stipulated in Québec’s forest standards must be taken to protect waterside areas, lakes, watercourses and water quality. Increased protection is required for some mapped intermittent watercourses; in these cases, a wooded strip at least 10 metres in width must be left on both banks1.
Where necessary, a 40-metre wide riparian strip must be left on either side of certain permanent watercourses, to allow for better connectivity between retention forests and to limit the visual impact of salvage blocks, or where the territory concerned is at high risk of erosion or leaching1.
– Where possible, in-forest cutting and lopping systems must be used in locations where regeneration conditions are suitable.
– Timber with no market value must be left standing.
– Where the sector permits, as many mixed strata and hardwood-dominated strata as possible must be left in the retention forest.
– Ideally, work should not be carried out on sites sensitive to harvesting (steep slopes, coarse texture, very severe fire at ground level). If harvesting is required, biological legacies should be left and/or harvesting should take place in winter.
1 Refer to the document entitled La recolte dans les forêts brûlées – Enjeux et orientations pour un aménagement écosystémique to see the conditions in which this would be most appropriate: https://www.mffp.gouv.qc.ca/publications/forets/amenagement/forets- brulees-enjeux.pdf
B. Relationship between the special plan and the current annual plan
As soon as it is applied by the authorities, the special plan will replace the approved development plan (with PRAN) in the development unit concerned, for the year in question. The PRAN can be maintained if the special plan does not allow for all the Minister’s forest management undertakings to be fulfilled in the area.
If the special plan causes the allowable cut to be exceeded in the first four years of the period, the plans for subsequent years in those sectors should compensate for this, by reducing harvesting in neighbouring development units for the period in which the special plan applies, and then increasing it again in subsequent years and reducing it in the area covered by the special plan.
When the allowable cut is exceeded in the last year of the five-year period, compensation is no longer possible, and the Minister must therefore give approval for harvesting carried out under the special plan. The DGSL must be informed of this, since it will prepare a note from the Minister for the Associate Deputy Minister, Regional Operations, with a copy to the chief forester.
C. Producing a preliminary special plan
Since optimal salvaging of timber depends on many factors, including the quality of the salvaged timber, it is vital that the salvage process should begin as soon as possible. Accordingly, it is agreed that a preliminary special plan will be tabled as soon as the final disturbance contour is presented to the JWG and the tallymen. The preliminary plan must be checked by the CNG before being presented to the tallymen. It must show the entire road network to be developed and some of the major cutting blocks whose total area should represent, at most, 15% of the entire special plan area. The preliminary plan can be implemented as soon as consultations with the tallyman on the fire contour have been completed.
The blocks and roads presented must be included in the final plan produced pursuant to Section A of this guide.
D. Restoration of production
In the fire-damaged area, following a salvage operation, production restoration activities may be prepared if necessary, directly in the subsequent operational plans. Depending on the state of natural regeneration, the plan will be carried out in every trapline damaged by the natural disturbance, mainly with a view to speeding up tree regeneration and restoring wildlife populations, after sufficient time has been allowed for natural growth to become established.
In addition, the 30% of mature fire-damaged forest left in place as a retention area may also be restored to production after a period of ten years, depending on its capacity to regenerate itself.
The same logic will be applied to immature fire-damaged forests.
Section specific to windfall
Tools to be used when preparing a special plan
To target damaged areas accurately, only aerial photographs will be used.
Planning and Harvesting Conditions
Given that these disturbances are caused by wind, affected areas often take the form of long, thin strips where the systematic presence of retention forests would remove a significant portion of the area to be salvaged.
In addition, windfall severity is not as variable as fire severity, and it is therefore not appropriate to use a varied typology. For the purpose of special development plans, reference is made to windfall classes, and support is given only if more than 33% of the trees in a given area have been overturned.
Special windfall salvage plans will first be presented to the tallymen without retention. During the Cree consultations organized by the JWG, and depending on the specific situation, the MFFP will aim for a final retention of 30% of the damaged forest. The retention area will be arranged basically in blocks of abandoned areas or strips of windfall close to live forests, to ensure connectivity between the two environments. All this will be done in close collaboration, as described in section 18 of Schedule C-4 of this Agreement.
The 30% retention described in the previous paragraph may be lower, and may even be zero, if the tallyman and planner so agree during the consultation.
Insect epidemics section
The guidelines named L’aménagement écosystémique dans un contexte d’épidémie de la tordeuse des bourgeons de l’épinette (MFFP, 2014) prepared by the Forest Management and environment direction will be used as starting point for the Parties to convene of specific salvage modalities in case of Insect epidemics in the Territory.
Cryptogamic Diseases section
Since cases requiring special salvage plans for forests damaged by cryptogamic diseases are rare, the parties agree that plans will be managed on a case-by-case basis.
Section for all types of natural disturbances
Relocation of sites of interest to the Crees
In cases where a natural disturbance affects a site of interest to the Cree (pursuant to 3.9 or 3.10 of the Agreement), the joint working group will meet with the tallymen concerned, or their representatives, to decide whether or not the area should be moved within the trapline, at the tallyman’s discretion. If it is agreed that the site should be moved, it must be taken into account for subsequent amendments to the tactical and operational integrated forest development plans.
Updating of the Guide
The ecosystem-based approach used for this Agreement is currently under development. This Guide may be updated annually, with the consent of the parties, to reflect new knowledge and progress made by the MFFP in its work on the application of the ecosystem-based approach to the salvage of fire-damaged timber.
Monitoring and study
In connection with the updating of this Guide, as mentioned above, the parties agree, as far as possible, to encourage the production of studies on the aspects of biodiversity, economic profitability and social acceptability of current salvage scenarios or past scenarios from the period 2002 to 2014.
Monitoring of special plans will allow, among other things, for identification of potential improvements to management practices, and for verification of the level of satisfaction of the actors involved in implementing them.
The methods described here must always be implemented with due regard for safe working practices, established jointly with the Safety Policy. Forestry workers must be free to remove obstacles where necessary, to ensure a safe workplace.