Implementation of forestry best management practices (BMPs) in the South

The Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) is distributing Implementation of Forestry Best Management Practices: 2012 Southern Region Report (available at www.southernforests.org). This document summarizes results of BMP implementation surveys conducted in 11 southern states between 2007 and 2012 using the SGSF’s BMP survey “Framework.” Results of these recent surveys are compared to results from earlier surveys previously summarized by the SGSF in a 2008 report. The Executive Summary follows.

“Forty-four statewide monitoring surveys have been conducted since the initial development of the Framework in 1997, with 24 in the last five years. The number of surveys completed to date provides a useful dataset for determining BMP implementation across the region, as well as changes in state implementation, since the inception of the Framework.”

“For the seven BMP categories considered in this report, the lowest average implementation for the region was for Firebreaks (82 percent), and the highest average implementation was for Chemical Application (98.5 percent).  The Harvesting, Forest Roads, Streamside Management Zone, Site Preparation, and Chemical Application categories all scored 90 percent or above, while Stream Crossings scored 89 percent.”

“Combining all BMP categories in all states, and using only the most recent survey data, the average overall BMP implementation for the southern region was 92 percent, up from 87 percent in 2008.  The range of overall implementation reported by individual states for surveys included in this report was from 85 percent to 99 percent.”

“Change in BMP implementation has been positive across the region since the initial report in 2008.  Most notably, BMP implementation in the Harvesting and Firebreak categories increased by seven percentage points and nine percentage points, respectively. All other BMP categories realized at least a one percentage point increase since the previous report.” 

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