Priority Ecosystems

Project Scope

SERNbc programming is focused on ecosystems that are either already degraded, in peril of becoming degraded, or have a high functional importance for biodiversity which are not explicitly managed through other programs. Past ecosystem restoration projects have been completed in Douglas-fir stands, grasslands, wetlands, berry producing shrub ecosystems, riparian and stream areas, and whitebark pine ecosystems. Current ecosystem restoration programs include road rehabilitation, habitat enhancement for species-at-risk, the use of prescribed fire, wetland research, reforestation of priority areas, and a variety of other ecosystem restoration projects.

Ecosystem restoration projects are identified and prioritized based on a structured decision-making framework to ensure ER investments are made that meet the objectives of SERNbc and their project partners. 

SERNbc intends to:

  • Support the implementation of ecosystem restoration activities throughout northern BC,

  • Implement enough projects to create economies of scale to sustain and grow SERNbc’s capacity,

  • Partner with First Nations, governments, industry, and NGOs to secure and manage funding appropriate for ER programming,

  • Provide value to agencies and other stakeholders by coordinating ecosystem restoration activities to reduce overlap, improve efficacy and efficiency, and ensure vulnerable and degraded ecosystems are a high priority, 

  • Be a respected contributor to forest and land management, by providing leadership to government and NGOs regarding ecosystem restoration opportunities and priorities in northern BC. 



Priority Ecosystems

1. Open Forests

  • This category includes open forest types impacted by land management activities including the transition from grassland/brushland ecosystems to open forest conditions. Examples ecosystems include grasslands, shrub complexes, berry producing areas, dry south-aspect Douglas-fir forests and other open forest types.

2. Deciduous and Mixed-Wood Forests

  • Deciduous and mixed-wood stands provide valuable habitat conditions that support animal and plant species assemblages very different from those found in coniferous forests. Old deciduous stands are particularly valuable because their attributes offer habitat complexity that can support a high level of biodiversity, mitigate the spread of wildfire, and provide a valuable source of nutrients for ecosystem maintenance and regeneration.

3. Ecosystems-at-Risk or Ecosystems supporting Species-at-Risk

  • Red-listed (endangered or threatened) or blue-listed (of special concern or vulnerable) ecosystems, or ecosystems supporting species at risk.

  • Restoration activities to be focused on restoration of ecosystem structure and function to support the long-term viability of these species and ecosystems.

  • Values are associated with the long-term persistence of wildlife and plant species and ecological communities that are considered at risk.

4. Wetlands

  • Wetland restoration can be used to address a range of wetland impacts, such as hydrology/water levels and vegetative structure and composition.

  • Values associated with this category could be directly related to water itself (e.g. water quality) as well as processes directly linked to water (e.g. longevity of fish species, fish production, sustainability of watering source).

5. Fish Habitat and Fish Passage

  • Significant gains to improve fish habitat can be made by restoring passage where it has been blocked by development infrastructure such as roads and rail.

  • Support, develop, and deliver projects related to riparian function, hydrology and overall watershed management activities as they influence aquatic ecosystems.

6. Forest Ecosystems Vulnerable to Climate Change

  • Where forested ecosystems are expected to be vulnerable or stressed under anticipated future climates, adaptation aimed at improving the resiliency of these ecosystems will be important.

  • Maintaining and enhancing ecological structure and function through activites such as riparian enhancement, preservation of large diameter snags and CWD, excelerating old forest conditions in plantations through species manipulation, gap creation, and creation of structural diversity.