Tuesday, January 22, 2013

10 Ways to Avoid Mucking up a Stream during Logging

1)  Plan what you're going to do before you do it.  And plan for both the best weather and operating conditions and the worst.  By planning for the worst, you will be able to make quicker adjustments during your logging job.
2)  Always avoid crossing a stream unless it is absolutely necessary.  This is the best way to prevent stream pollution.
3)  Use a portable logging bridge when possible. It is always better to cross over a stream instead of through it.  Not only does a bridge reduce pollution, it is easier on your equipment.
4)  If you have to cross a stream, always look for the best location.  Look at all the possible crossings, then choose the best one.  "Best" means the crossing you have selected has the fewest obstacles and will minimize pollution.
5)  Cross the stream at a right angle.  The shortest distance between the two stream banks is to cross at a right angle to the stream. This gets you in, across, and out of the stream in the shortest distance.
6)  use a temporary in-stream crossing if a bridge is not available.  This crossing can be created by placing small (6-8") diameter logs side by side in the stream channel and parallel to the stream bank.  Drive your skidder over the logs and when you're finished, pull the logs out of the stream.
7)  Don't cover the temporary log crossing with soil.  This makes for a smoother skidder ride, but the soil will eventually work its way down between the logs and cause pollution.  If you need to cushion your ride, use tree tops instead.  When finished, be sure to remove the tops and the logs from the stream.
8)  Don't harvest threes all the way to the stream bank.  Leave at least a 25-foot strip of undisturbed forest next to streams.  But remember that the steeper the adjacent slopes the wider the filter strip should be.
9)  Don't skid logs through a stream.  Flowing water carries sediment downstream and results in off-site pollution, a serious House Bill 88 violation.
10)  Don't leave any logging slash greater than 6" in diameter in any perennial (flows year round) stream.  It should be pulled far enough away from the stream so that flooding would not carry it away.

If you don't know which best management practices to use during a timber harvest, or you don't know how to install them, refer to "BMPs for Erosion Control on Logging Jobs in Ohio".  This pocket-sized handbook is an easy-to-use reference and contains all the BMP specifications that you need.  This handbook is available from Guernsey SWCD.

It can be downloaded from this ODNR website:

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