top of page

Forestry Best Management Practices

Tree Trunk

Focus on Water Quality

Forest roads, skid trails and landings are vulnerable to erosion and should be managed so as to prevent the loss of soil from the site into vulnerable ecosystems such as streams, wetlands and lakes.

Trout caught in net

Riparian Zones

Riparian areas provide the following for water quality:

•filter nutrients and sediment

•regulate water temperature by shading streams

•enhance bank stability, enhance wildlife habitat

• provide a buffer between timber harvesting and water supplies.

Diagram showing riparian area next to stream

Short-Term Erosion Control

Short-term erosion control is only effective if maintained and installed properly!

Diagram of how to install silt fence

Stream Crossings

•Cross streams only when necessary

•Cross streams where banks are stable and bottom is firm

•Install approaches at right angles to stream

•Use materials that are clean, non-erodible and non-toxic to aquatic life

•Minimize the use of equipment in stream

•Stabilize all approaches

•Upon job completion remove crossing, smooth out any ruts and install appropriate BMP for stabilization

a culvert with water flowing through it

Replacing Vegetation

Seeding, mulching and hydroseeding helps ensure continued site stabilization.

hyrdroseeding an area to get grass growing for stabilization

Roads, Trails & Landings

Properly placing and maintaining logging roads, skid trails and landings is the easiest and most effective way to protect water quality during timber harvesting.

Image showing how to plan your logging roads with topography in mind

Vernal Pools

These areas also help to filter sediment and nutrients from surface water run-off and help to improve water quality while also creating unique wildlife habitat.

Vernal pool in woods

Erosion Control Mats

Erosion control mats can be used to keep large areas of soil stabilized while grass and other plants become established.

photo of erosion control mats installed and trees planted

Long Term Erosion Control

Fords crossings can be installed where vehicles may have to enter a stream or cross a wet spot on a logging road.

Ford crossing installed on a logging road

Water Bars

Water bars help divert water from roads and trails and helps to slow velocities and reduce erosion

image of a rubber water bar along a logging road
PIne Tree Branch

Other Resources:


Forestry BMP Guide:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

United States Fish & Wildlife Service:

United States Army Corp of Engineers:

Pine Cone 4
bottom of page