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How Much Land Is Needed for the Harvest Access System on Nonindustrial Private Forestlands Dominated by Northern Hardwoods?

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Harvest access systems (forest roads, skid trails, and landings) account for 90% of the erosion and sedimentation during harvesting activities. A well-planned harvest access system can reduce the surface area disturbed by logging, thereby decreasing the potential for erosion and sedimentation. Most Best Management Practices (BMP) guidelines suggest that the area disturbed by the harvest access system should range from 10 to 15%. We measured surface area disturbance by the harvest access system on 43 harvest sites on nonindustrial private forestlands in northern hardwood cover types in New York State and found that the average area percent disturbed was 6% with a range of 3 to 13%. The quality of BMP implementation was positively associated with the percentage of surface area disturbed, suggesting that harvests with a low percentage of surface area disturbance do not necessarily exhibit high-quality BMP.

Keywords: Best Management Practices; erosion; logging; watershed

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: Forest and Natural Resources Management State University of New York–College of Environmental Science and Forestry Syracuse NY 13210

Publication date: 2005-12-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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