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Timber Harvesting Characteristics on Forest Stewardship Properties and Non–Forest Stewardship Properties in Central West Virginia

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A study was conducted in the Elk River watershed in central West Virginia to evaluate the impact of the US Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) on the physical attributes of primary road systems used in timber harvesting operations. On seven properties enrolled in the FSP and on eight non-FSP properties, road systems used for logging within a 5-year period before this study were mapped and measured. Twenty dependent variables relating to residual vegetation, forest road characteristics, erosion, and certain best management practices (BMP) were used to characterize timber harvesting operations that had been conducted on these properties. With the exception of road density and waterbar implementation, analysis of these dependent variables failed to detect any statistical differences among property types. BMPs observed in this study included waterbars, broad-based dips, turnouts, culverts, and inside ditches. Results suggest that landowner objectives may play a role in the use of alternatives to waterbars. Eighty-one percent of BMP practices other than waterbars were observed on stewardship properties. Higher road densities on non-FSP properties were likely caused by road patterns used on forest industry properties.
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Keywords: BMP; Forest Stewardship Program; forest roads; timber harvesting

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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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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