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Hazard assessment keys for evaluating site sensitivity to soil degrading processes guidebook

Posted date: November 21, 2018
Publication Year: 
Document type: Other Documents


B.C. Ministry of Forests. 1999. Hazard assessment keys for evaluating site sensitivity to soil degrading processes guidebook. 2nd ed., Version 2.1. For. Prac. Br., B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C. Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Guidebook. 


This guidebook has been prepared to help forest resource managers plan, prescribe and implement sound forest practices that comply with the Forest Practices Code.

Guidebooks are one of the four components of the Forest Practices Code. The others are the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, the regulations, and the standards. The Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act is the legislative umbrella authorizing the Code’s other components. It enables the Code, establishes mandatory requirements for planning and forest practices, sets enforcement and penalty provisions, and specifies administrative arrangements. The regulations lay out the forest practices that apply province-wide. Standards may be established by the chief forester, where required, to expand on a regulation. Both regulations and standards are mandatory requirements under the Code.

Forest Practices Code guidebooks have been developed to support the regulations; however, only those portions of guidebooks cited in regulation are part of the legislation.

The Hazard Assessment Keys for Evaluating Site Sensitivity on Soil Degrading Processes Guidebook is referenced in the Operational Planning Regulation (OPR) and the Woodlot License Forest Management Regulation (WLFMR). These regulations require that the procedures to determine the risk of sediment delivery to streams, the soil compaction hazard, the soil displacement hazard and the soil erosion hazard are carried out in accordance with the procedures in the guidebook. The relevant sections of the guidebook that contain this information are identified by a bar along the page margin labeled with the specific regulation being referenced, as well as a change in the text typeface. They are as follows:

  • the “Soil compaction and puddling key,” the “Soil displacement key,” and the “Soil erosion key” (pages 5, 8, 11-14); and
  • the procedures listed under the heading “Risk of sediment delivery to streams” (page 15).

The recommendations that are not part of the cited portion of guidebooks are not mandatory requirements, but once a recommended practice is included in a plan, prescription or contract, it becomes legally enforceable. Except where referenced by regulation, guidebooks are not intended to provide a legal interpretation of the Act or regulations. In general, they describe procedures, practices and results that are consistent with the legislated requirements of the Code.

The information provided in each guidebook is intended to help users exercise their professional judgment in developing site-specific management strategies and prescriptions designed to accommodate resource management objectives. Some guidebook recommendations provide a range of options or outcomes considered to be acceptable under varying circumstances.

Where ranges are not specified, flexibility in the application of guidebook recommendations may be required, to adequately achieve land use and resource management objectives specified in higher-level plans. A recommended practice may also be modified when an alternative could provide better results for forest resource stewardship. The examples provided in many guidebooks are not intended to be definitive and should not be interpreted as being the only acceptable options.