Land use in Intermountain Conservation District, interactions between forestry and agriculture

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Mischuk, Nicole M.
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The landscape of the Intermountain Conservation District (IMCD) supports both agriculture and forestry activities. Recognizing the potential impact that can arise from these activities, the study was initiated to assess local impacts of forestry and agriculture on lands within the IMCD, illustrating the interaction of these activities on the landscape. Through interviews, local landowners identified land use impacts arising from forestry and agriculture, expressing opinion regarding the use of mitigative techniques and the effectiveness of regulation that directs forestry and agriculture on private and public lands. A watershed analysis of harvest and harvest mapping provided an illustration of where and what areas are being harvested. Land use mapping identified current trends in land use activity, particularly agriculture. The impact of water was the prominent impact of concern to residents. While acknowledging that agriculture does impact local water, public perception is that the expanding forestry occurring in the area will accentuate water-related problems that plague the area. Public concern regarding regulation of forestry on Crown land illustrates a need for improvement in local forest management by the government and Louisiana-Pacific Canada Limited. Increased education and regulation is needed to promote the protection of the local aquatic and terrestrial environments on private agricultural lands. The study recommends that water quality and flow be used as indicators of land use impacts. A joint framework to assess the use soil and later conservation techniques is advocated, providing the Intermountain Conservation District and Louisiana-Pacific Canada Limited with a mechanism to work together to ensure t e sustainability of local soil and water.