Wednesday, February 10, 2016

June 6, 2013 "Great Rain Forest Karst" Re-visited after "Agreement Fails to Protect Rare Karst" February 10, 2016

UPDATE 2017-08-20 
Google Search Criteria: bc government special reports Protecting Karst in Coastal BC

February 10, 2016:

Agreement fails to protect rare karst landscapes, expert warns

Great Bear Rainforest largely protected by new accord, but caves and sinkholes left out

By Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun

June 6, 2013

Each one of these little red dots represent a known cave, or a Karst... which is okay by those of our communities that just love to go underground....

Updated below on December 2, 2014

Google Search Criteria:  karst vulnerability mapping north eastern British Columbia

As you can see, Vancouver Island has more that their fare share... and if you're thinking that it's directly related to ... volcanic activity... or earth quakes....... Karst is having to do with carbonated bedrock...
Source of map Page 4 & 5 of 28
The BC Minister of Forest has this to say about Karst:

In British Columbia, the responsibility for managing karst resources in provincial forests lies with the Ministry of Forests. Under the Forest Practices Code, several provisions have been made for managing sensitive areas such as karst. The Code requires identified sensitive areas to be treated in a way that protects or conserves special resource values. To accommodate some of the unique requirements of managing karst, the ministry is developing interim karst management guidelines that will provide direction on managing forestry and recreational activities in karst landscapes.


Karst is recognized as a highly valuable, non-renewable resource that can be especially vulnerable to disturbance, more so than many other land resources. The primary reason for this higher level of sensitivity is the three-dimensional nature of karst. The intricate relationship between karst's unique surface characteristics and the subsurface caves and hydrology make for a delicately balanced system. Industrial activities, such as rock quarrying or forestry, if not properly conducted, can lead to excessive soil erosion, destruction of surface and subsurface karst features, changes in groundwater flows, and contamination, sedimentation, or clogging of underground and surface streams.

Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline has been turned down by the BC Liberals, so far, although it's not an outright complete rejection.  At the Federal level, they've already made up their minds, haven't they.

There was a very detailed study done regarding the watersheds that the pipeline will be going through, fish counts too ... but did the Minister of Forests step up to the plate and talk about Karsts?


LNG Hydraulic Fracturing  (Fracking) doesn't mix with Karst......

the leaching of calcium carbonate from bedrock has important buffering effects on acidic streams,

the groundwater associated with karst results in cool, even stream temperatures throughout the year,

the storage capacity in karst stream systems buffers seasonal flow rates to produce lower peak flows and higher low flow periods,

karst streams tend to supply more nutrients and encourage more algae and moss growth, aquatic insect populations within karst streams are larger and more diverse,

karst stream systems provide more protective sites for fish to rest, breed, and avoid predators
In 2003 the BC Liberal Government put together this little document: Karst Inventory Standards and Vulnerability Assessment Procedures for BC  BROKEN   New Link at bottom  September 24, 2014 Updated

Reconnaissance-level karst inventory work for the entire province of British Columbia was completed in 1999. The result of this work is a set of 87 map sheets (1:250 000 scale) outlining those areas in the province that have the potential for karst development. These maps can be used to assist with strategic planning and for directing more detailed karst inventories.   Page 4 of 123

Karst Inventory and Vulnerability Assessment Procedures in the Forested Karst Landscapes of British Columbia, Canada - ABSTRACT

Last but by no means Least, there's The First Nations concerns about Karsts:

As the archaeological evidence suggests, karst played a significant role in the lives of many aboriginal peoples in the past. Karst caves were not only used for shelter, but were also considered by some groups to be sacred places for burial and ceremonial purposes. .... snip


June 7, 2013

 Protecting karst in coastal BC : special report
Forest Practices Board, 2007.

Updated   December 2, 2014

It seems that the Province via the Forest Practice Board is no longer interested in protecting Karsts, the link above is broken, ........ However there is the Wayback Machine for May 26, 2007:

and the Wayback Machine for the year of 2007 on Karst*/

How effective will licensees be at protecting karst in coastal BC from damage due to forest practices? The answer remains unknown. We know that karst is a resource that, particularly on the BC coast, is sensitive to damage from forest practices. Government no longer protects karst by checking and approving forest practices. Instead, those who carry out forest practices must themselves determine how best to carry out forest practices in a way that avoids damaging identified karst features. 

This shift of responsibility for karst stewardship, from government to industry, requires that licensees, their professionals, contractors and equipment operators all learn about karst, its identification, its sensitivity and its protection. More information on karst can be found in an on-line training course on the Ministry of Forests and Range website at

Dr. Bruce Fraser, Chair
Update: December 2, 2014:

B.C. researchers dive underwater caves to solve salmon mystery (with video)

They donned scuba gear to follow the salmon, which seemingly swim through mountains near Bella Bella

Acta Carsologica

Karst areas occupy 10-20 % if ice free land. Dissolution of rock by natural waters has given rise to specific landscape and underground.  Karst surface features and caves have attracted man's curiosity since the dawn of humanity and have been a focus to scientific studies since more than half of milenia.

Acta Carsologica publishes original research papers and reviews, letters, essays and reports covering topics related to specific of karst areas. These comprise, but are not limited to karst geology, hydrology and geomorphology, speleology, hydrogeology, biospeleology and history of karst science.

Speleo ... Caving.... Link     Curated by PAUL


Management of Karst Resource Features on Northern Vancouver Island

April 2, 2014

September 24, 2014

Google Search Criteria:  Reconnaissance-level karst inventory work for the entire province of British Columbia was completed in 1999

1 comment:

Terrafirma said...

The agreement also forgot to include the protection of the Rainforest's grizzly bears! It's a gaping loophole, as porous as the karst, itself. :(