Canadian Forest Service Publications

The FAACS backcast: afforestation activity in the prairie provinces (1990-2002). 2004. Hall, R.J.; Joss, B.N.; Sidders, D.M.; Keddy, T.J. Forestry Chronicle 80(6): 727-735.

Year: 2004

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25122

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

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Under Action Plan 2000, the Feasibility Assessment of Afforestation for Carbon Sequestration (FAACS) initiative is exploring the feasibility of large-scale afforestation as an effective response to Canada’s climate change commitments. One component of the FAACS initiative is a "backcast" or inventory of afforestation activity that has occurred on privately owned land since 1990. Within the Prairie Provinces, the backcast of afforestation activity identified approximately 2650 hectares that were afforested between 1990 and 2002. Temporal and spatial trends were identified from the afforestation activities documented. Temporally, there was a two-year cycle of afforestation activity between 1997 and 2002, and a noticeable shift from the planting of coniferous to deciduous trees between 2000 and 2001. Spatially, three ecoregions, Boreal Transition, Mid-Boreal Uplands and Peace Lowland, accounted for 83% of the afforestation activity. Environmental conditions associated with afforestation sites were identified for mean annual and growing season precipitation (342 mm to 578 mm and 214 mm to 361 mm, respectively), climate moisture index (-27 to 20 cm), and growing degree days (1009 to 1789). Afforestation sites were mostly located on loamy, well-drained soils with pH values between 6 and 8 in plant hardiness zones 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b and 3a. Environmental and socioeconomic (e.g., proximity to mills) factors influenced the location of afforestation activity in the Prairie Provinces. This information provides direct inputs into the selection of spatial and environmental variables and their attribute values for developing a model of land suitability for afforestation in the Prairie Provinces, and will provide a basis for its application across Canada.