Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Best Management Practices are good forest stewardship practices to follow during forestry activities to protect the water quality of nearby streams, lakes, or ponds. They are set at a state level and may be mandatory or voluntary, depending on state law.

Common examples of BMPs that protect water quality:

  • Erosion control measures on roads and skid trails, such as culverts, broad-based dips, and water bars
  • Vegetated buffer strips (streamside management zones) along streams, lakes and wetlands
  • Guidelines for stream crossings to minimize environmental impacts (culverts, portable bridges)
  • Recommended practices for harvesting to protect sensitive areas (utilization of equipment that minimizes soil rutting)
  • Recommended practices for site preparation for reforestation, matching techniques with soils, slope and ground cover on each site
  • Guidelines for safe and effective pesticide use (creating vegetated buffered strips around water and property boundaries)
  • Control of waste disposal on forest lands (servicing equipment away from wetlands and picking up trash)
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