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How to Prevent Silvicultural Nonpoint Source Pollution

Best Management Practices

Methods and procedures that prevent or reduce pollution are known as best management practices (BMP's). The following list of best management practices reduce forestry-related nonpoint source pollution.


  • Preharvest Planning: Identify sensitive areas such as wetlands, erosion-prone areas, and threatened or endangered aquatic species habitat areas. Time the activity for the season or moisture conditions when the least impact to the environment will occur. Locate roads, landings, and skid trails outside of streamside management zones and previously identified sensitive areas. Size, site, and design temporary and permanent stream crossings to prevent failure and minimize the number of crossings.
  • Road Construction and Reconstruction: Use suitable materials to surface roads planned for all-weather use by truck traffic. Design road systems to avoid high erosion or sensitive areas. Ensure that the design of the road prism and the road surface drainage are appropriate to the terrain and that the road surface design is consistent with road drainage structures.
  • Road Management: Properly maintain permanent stream crossings and approaches to reduce the likelihood that stream overflow will divert onto the road. Inspect roads to determine the need for structural maintenance. Close and stabilize temporary spur roads and seasonal roads after harvesting to control and direct water away from the roadway. Revegetate to control erosion and stabilize banks and road surfaces. Remove all temporary stream crossings.
  • Site Preparation and Forest Regeneration: Suspend operations during wet periods if equipment begins to cause excessive soil disturbance. Do not conduct mechanical site preparation and mechanical tree planting in streamside management zones.
  • Fire Management: All bladed firelines for prescribed fire and wildfire should be plowed on contour or stabilized with water bars or other appropriate techniques if needed to control excessive sedimentation or erosion of the fireline.
  • Revegetation of Disturbed Areas: Revegetate disturbed areas using seedlings or planting promptly after completion of the earth-disturbing activity.

Thermal Change

  • Streamside Management Zones: Establish and maintain a streamside management zone adjacent to surface waters which is sufficiently wide and includes a sufficient number of canopy species of trees to provide bank stability and buffer against detrimental changes in the temperature regime of the the water body.


  • Chemical Management: Prescribe the type and amount of pesticides appropriate for the insect, fungus, or herb-like species. Conduct applications by skilled and, where required, licensed operators according to the registered use, giving special consideration to impacts on nearby surface waters.

Chemical and Organic Wastes

  • Timber Harvesting: Locate landings outside of streamside management zones. Protect stream channels and significant short term drainage from logging debris and slash material. Use appropriate areas to store, drain, and dispense petroleum. Recycle or properly dispose of all waste materials.

More Information

The following projects can serve as a starting point for more information.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) has worked closely with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF)'s Office of Forestry, the Kisatchie National Forest, the Louisiana Forestry Association (LFA), and the Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries to implement education programs, incorporating videos, brochures, workshops and BMP training sessions, in areas where forestry activities were identified as contributing to water quality impairments.

The LSU School of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries has created a website to promote forestry BMP's and the workshops.


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Last updated Monday, November 17, 2003 7:02.