Canadian Forest Service Publications

Some principles and criteria to make Canada's protected area systems representative or the nation's forest diversity. 1995. Peterson, E.B.; Peterson, N.M.; Pollard, D.F.W. The Forestry Chronicle 71(4): 497-507.

Year: 1995

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 4161

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free)

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The current network of protected areas in Canada, numbering almost 3000, owes much to initiatives taken under the International Biological Program (IBP-CT) beginning in the 1960's, and maintained by member agencies of the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA).  Several criteria for the selection of areas were identified under IBP-CT.  The first of these concerned representation of the diversity of the world's ecosystems.  Recently, the need for protected areas has gained prominence at all levels of government.  In its 1992 National Strategy, the forest sector committed itself to protecting the diversity of forest ecosystems in Canada.
In this review we advocate that representativeness is more than a criterion by which areas are selected for protection:  it is a fundamental principle.  We examine how this principle can be applied and suggest that features of the landscape define the scale on which a comprehensive system of protected areas is built.  Also discussed is the role for forest ecosystems that have been disturbed by human activity in such a system.
Our main recommendation is that landscape should be accepted as the basic stratification by which representation is to be judged.  On the assumption that species and species assemblages associated with landscapes are not in jeopardy, and that a representative range of the nation's landscapes will contain a representative range of Canada's biotic diversity, this article suggests that a comprehensive system of protected landscapes will, in large measure, represent the nation's diversity of animal and plant communities.  Until it is clearly evident that timber management can accommodate the broad array of conservation needs, forest managers should consider designating areas for protection in which the integrity of ecosystem functions and dynamics can be assured for both managed and natural forest types under their control.