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Stream Crossing Methods, Costs, and Closure Best Management Practices for Virginia Loggers

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Abstract:

Stream crossings and associated best management practices (BMP) have significant economic, logistical, and environmental implications. We conducted a telephone survey of 70 Virginia logging contractors to evaluate (1) the types of crossings currently being installed, (2) the costs of the installed crossings, (3) the BMP being applied to close stream crossings, and (4) the costs of implementing the BMP. We evaluated stream crossings for both trucking and skidding and separated the results into three regions (Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Mountains). Crossing types included culverts, wooden bridges, steel bridges, reinforced fords, and fords. The 70 loggers were randomly sampled from a pool of 800 loggers provided by the Virginia Department of Forestry contact database. Results are based on 11 questions that could be answered in 10‐15 minutes. The survey acquired 25 responses from both the Coastal Plain and Piedmont and 20 from the Mountains. We found that skidder stream crossings are more commonly installed than truck crossings in all regions and that temporary portable bridges are the more prevalent type of crossing installation for the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, whereas culverts are more commonly installed in the Mountains. Material or purchase costs of the structures were found to follow the pattern of steel bridges > wooden bridges > culverts > fords, but the potential for repeated use of the portable bridges may equalize long-term costs. Fords and reinforced fords were seldom installed. Waterbars, seeding, and mulch were the most commonly installed closure BMP, and costs for stream crossing closures were generally greatest in the Mountain region.

Keywords: harvesting; logging contractors; water quality

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5849/sjaf.10-011

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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 Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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