Bridge Creek Estate: Ecoforestry

The Bridge Creek woodlot comprises 600 hectares (1482 acres) of crown land and 258 hectares (637 acres) of private land, for a total of over 850 ha (2,100 acres) of managed forest-land. It is our aim to manage these woodlands using the principles of Ecoforestry. The goal of Ecoforestry is to harvest wood in ways that protect the structure and function of the natural forest. The primary 'product' of Ecoforestry is a healthy forest. One of the main 'by-products' is timber, but others include clean water, wildlife habitat, beautiful views, and ecosystem diversity.

Forest

Having managed the forests in an environmentally sensitive manner, the ranch is positioned well for future eco-certification. We are fortunate to have excellent resources available such as Professional Foresters and careful logging contractors who assist us in managing these diverse woodlands.

Although we no longer have any kind of wood-milling operation, Bridge Creek Ranch operated the first mill in 100 Mile, powered by the waterfall at Bridge Creek (pictured at bottom right). While the mill is long gone, these beautiful falls can be seen in Centennial Park next to the village of 100 Mile House. Martin Cecil used this mill to cut the lumber for early buildings in town during the 1930's (see the history page).

Woodlot

Spread along the hillside above our grazing lands and Exeter Lake, our Woodlot is a beautiful forest of Douglas Fir and White Spruce. Having carefully dealt with the Pine-beetle epidemic, we are now ready to take advantage of increases in price for higher quality wood. Our forests have excellent road access and we are positioned close to both the mills and town.

Tree-Types

We have been extracting timber from our own property since the early 1900's. Most forest operations before the 1960's took only the larger Douglas-fir trees. Although this is now considered highgrading, we continue to have a functioning forest that has grown in from what was left behind. Our preferred mode of operation now is partial selection and small patch cuts - depending on the natural disturbance type of the stand being managed.

Our forest is located in the Interior Douglas-fir dry-belt (IDFdk3) and is composed primarily of the following trees:

Conifers:
Interior Douglas-fir (pseudotsuga menziesii, glauca)
Lodgepole Pine (pinus contorta, latifolia)
White Spruce (picea glauca)
Engelmann Spruce (picea engelmannii)

Deciduous:
Trembling Aspen (populus tremuloides)
Paper Birch (betula papyrifera)
Cottonwood (populus balsamifera, trichocarpa)

Douglas-fir stands in this area are usually 'climax' or late-stage forests and often present the greatest age and species diversity. Lodgepole Pine dominated stands tend to be earlier-stage forests (a 'pioneer' species) while interior Spruce generally grows on the wetter sites. The deciduous trees, mostly aspen, are a smaller proportion of our forests and add to the diversity of tree species.

Animal Habitat

One of the reasons for operating according to Ecoforestry principles is to maintain animal habitat. There are many different species that use this forest for part or all of their life-cycle. There are many notable residents of our woodlot including Black Bears, Cougars, Coyotes, Fox, JackRabbits, Mule Deer, Moose, Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, and Owls.

Water

The small streams that run through our woodlot feed into Little Bridge Creek and Exeter Lake and this water eventually meets big Bridge Creek to the north of town. Although the streams in the woodlot itself are too small for fish, all three of these other waterways support fish species that we do not want to adversely affect with our forest operations. See the environmental projects page for the work that we have been doing protecting the wetlands. Bridge Creek Environmental Projects

Visuals

The crown portion of our woodlot is an important part of the viewscape for 100 Mile House and the Exeter Valley. As well, our private woodlot land runs along the West side of Highway 97 just north of 100 Mile House. Needless to say, we are very concerned with the visual impact of our operations in the forest. We feel that the practices associated with Ecoforestry, while maintaining the ecological integrity of the forest, also lower the visual impact of our activities. Although we may not always achieve it 100% of the time, our goal is that no-one will notice our woodlot operations.

Video:

EcoForestry Slide Show:


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Fir Tree

Fir and Aspens

Pine Tree

Pine Tree

Sawmill

The Old Sawmill

100 Mile Falls

Waterfall, Centennial Park, 100 Mile House