Teaming together for forest regeneration

Tristan and Steve July 2022

YukonU instructors are researching the effectiveness of site preparation methods that may improve forest regeneration after harvesting in the southwest Yukon. Renewable Resource Management instructors Scott Gilbert and Steve Biggin-Pound are working in collaboration with the Government of Yukon’s Forest Management Branch (YG) and creating a host of opportunities for students and recent post-secondary graduates throughout this project. 

It is important for ecosystem function and carbon storage that harvested forests can regenerate. Until now, harvests for fuel wood have been relying mainly on natural regeneration; being left to re-seed and re-grow naturally. This project will investigate whether mechanical site preparation and planting nursery-grown seedlings will improve survival and growth of the regenerating forest.  

This research experiment is located on the Traditional Territory of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations near Haines Junction where field data collection occurred over the past summer and fall. Thanks to YukonU’s Scholarly Activity Grant and funding from YG partners, YukonU students are involved through paid student research positions to collect the data and assist in analysis and reporting. Recent YukonU graduates have also been involved in the project through employment at the Forest Management Branch via the Yukon Government’s Student Training and Employment Program (STEP) (for current students) and GradCorps internship program (for recent post-secondary graduates).  

Written by student communications assistant Naomi Dedon.