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Compliance with Forestry Best Management Practices in Maine

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Compliance with 60 forestry best management practices (BMPs) in Maine was evaluated from a sample of 120 sites randomly selected from areas harvested during the period January 1, 1993 to December 31, 1994. The forestry BMPs were organized into six groups [haul roads, stream crossings, skid roads/trails, putting trails/roads to bed, log yards/landings, and streamside management zones (SMZs)]. Applicability of each practice was assessed at each site and compliance with applicable BMPs rated. Evidence of sediment movement was used as a measure of BMP effectiveness. Compliance with the various BMPs within each of the six groups ranged as follows: haul roads 34%-100%; stream crossings 31%-94%; skid roads/trails 49%-95%; putting trails/roads to bed 25%-88%; log yards/landings 53%-96%; and SMZs 42%-78%. Low levels of compliance per se may overstate the negative impacts in those cases where BMPs are applicable on a small number of sites. For example, compliance with the recommendation that water courses be forded only on hard bottoms and banks was low (54%) but was applicable to only 39 sites, affecting 21 of the 120 sites examined. Overall compliance was greatest for the BMPs related to yards and landings (81%) and was lowest for putting trails/roads to bed (54%). Compliance levels in Maine were similar to those reported in Vermont and Minnesota. Compliance tended to be higher for those BMPs associated with planning and layout of haul roads and skid trails, compared to those dealing with water diversion from long, unobstructed surfaces. Old roads pose a challenge. Many road systems in use today were constructed a decade or more ago by scraping surface soil down to the basal till generating low road surfaces bounded by high banks. Ditches slowly eroded and became ineffective in diverting water from the road surface. Corrective measures are expensive, and new water diversion ditches will disturb more of the area. This study supports the utility and effectiveness of commonly recommended BMPs in reducing erosion and sedimentation in Maine. When BMPs were used, sediment movement was eliminated completely or was largely restricted from surface waters. Numbers of sites at which appreciable sediment delivery to surface waters was associated with noncompliance of individual BMPs within each of the six categories are summarized as follows: haul roads 1-17 sites; stream crossings 0-17 sites; skid roads/trails 0-20 sites; putting trails/roads to bed 9-14 sites; log yards/landings 1-14 sites; and SMZs 1-9 sites. In total, noncompliance with at least one BMP was associated with a downstream sediment trail at 34 sites. North. J. Appl. For. 15(2):57-68.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: 5755 Deering Hall, College of Natural Resources, Forestry, and Agriculture, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5755

Publication date: 1998-06-01

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    Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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