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Hydrology in the Community Forest

Hydrology is the scientific study of water, specifically focused on its distribution, movement, and properties in the atmosphere, on its surface, and underground. It plays a crucial role in understanding the Earth's water cycle, which involves processes such as precipitation, evaporation, runoff, and groundwater flow.

The following reports provide the scientific data essential for managing water resources in the Community Forest, addressing issues like flooding and drought, how harvesting and road building affects hydrology and preserving aquatic ecosystems.

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Milne Community Watershed Assessment 2021

Milne Community Watershed is on the Sunshine Coast, about 2 km east of Halfmoon Bay. It includes Trout Lake, an unnamed wetland, and Milne Creek. The Sunshine Coast Highway crosses the watershed on the south side of Trout Lake. A power transmission line and a natural gas pipeline cross on the north side of the lake. Mountain bike trails are present in the watershed, especially the area south of the highway.

The total watershed area is 435 ha and the Community Forest tenure within the watershed is 82.8 ha and is located north of the power transition line, on the east side of the watershed.

Several species of fish are known to live in the watershed, including cutthroat trout and three spine stickleback. Rainbow trout were observed at the mouth of Milne Creek, outside the watershed, in 1980.

The potential for forest harvesting and road building to affect watershed hydrology were assessed using the established rationale of the Coastal Watershed Assessment Guidebook (1999) and Hudson and Horel (2007). This assessment method examines the cumulative effects of past harvesting and evaluates the partial risk of future logging and its effects on hydrologic regimes.

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Kenyon Creek Hydrologic Assessment 2022

The Sunshine Coast Community Forest retained Statlu Environmental Consulting Ltd to assess the cumulative hydrologic risk associated with present and proposed future harvesting and forest road construction in the Kenyon Creek watershed in the Halfmoon Bay area on the Sunshine Coast. As with many areas of coastal BC, Kenyon Creek was affected by a series of intense atmospheric rivers in November 2021, and a flood in the Kenyon Creek washed out Redrooffs Road near the mouth of the watershed. The Community Forest requested the assessment to determine whether or not their forestry activities had contributed to the damaging flood and to evaluate actions that they could take to manage hydrologic risk from forestry operations.

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Wilson Creek Watershed Assessment 2012

This watershed assessment for Wilson Creek, which flows southwest into the Strait of Georgia near Sechelt, BC is meant to determine present conditions of the entire watershed and make recommendations to the Community Forest for forest management for its tenure in the watershed. The total Wilson Creek watershed area is 2,207 ha. The Community Forest's tenure within the watershed is 899 ha, or 41% of the total watershed area.

The resource of interest to this assessment is fish habitat and water quality. Anadromous fish habitat extends up Wilson Creek to a falls at approximately 280 m downstream of the confluence of Wilson and East Wilson Creeks; and to the top of Hudson Creek. Resident fish are found throughout the watershed above the limits of anadromous habitat. Overall fish values in this watershed are considered to be high.

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Wilson Creek Evaluation of Salmonid Populations 2012

In the summer of 2012, FSCI Biological Consultants conducted an overview and limited-detail fish and fish habitat assessment of the Wilson Creek watershed. This assessment addresses the distribution and current standing stock of rearing salmonids and an assessment of the aquatic habitat found in the Wilson Creek watershed.

The purpose of this report is to summarize existing data and provide results from 2012 field sampling. This project is not intended as a detailed and comprehensive assessment; but rather, provides an update on the existing conditions and compares these conditions to past data. A set of concussions and recommendations for the protection of salmonid habitat is provided.

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Chapman & Gray Creeks Watershed Assessment 2014

The purpose of this assessment is to determine the present physical condition of the community watersheds and the extent of recovery from past disturbance; and to make recommendations to Sechelt Community Projects Inc (SCPI) for forest management for the Community Forest tenure in the watersheds with specific regard for water quality for community water supply. In particular, SCPI asked that risk zones be delineated for sediment events that could affect water quality, to inform the Community Forest management planning.

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