Journal of Forestry publishes series of articles on forestry best management practices

The forest community has a long history of research designed to assess the impacts of forest practices on water quality. Hundreds of studies have investigated the impacts of forest management on water quality and quantity, and cost-effective non-point source pollution control practices.

Because of this extensive body of research and the efforts of states, landowners, industry, and others to implement best management practices (BMPs) and evaluate their effectiveness, forest management activities contribute relatively small quantities of water pollutants compared with those for other land uses.

To evaluate the current state of forestry BMP effectiveness research, NCASI, the Society of American Foresters, and Virginia Tech hosted the “Symposium on Forestry Best Management Practice (BMP) Effectiveness in the Eastern US” in Blacksburg, Virginia, in 2014. The symposium attracted 121 researchers and managers representing state and federal forestry agencies, universities, the forest industry, and others.

Recently, the Journal of Forestry published four articles based on oral presentations offered at the Symposium. In an introductory paper, Dr. Erik B. Schilling of NCASI summarized the content of the articles.

“Barrett et al. (2016) present findings from a study in the Virginia Piedmont comparing ground cover, estimated erosion rates, and BMP audits for biomass harvests and conventional clearcut harvests. Brown et al. (2016) assessed the feasibility of using the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model to predict event-based sediment yield and runoff from rainfall experiments at stream crossing approaches with varying levels of BMP implementation. Using a paired watershed study in the North Carolina Piedmont, Boggs et al. (2016) tested the effectiveness of streamside management zones (SMZs) and selectively harvested versus non-harvested SMZs. Witt et al. (2016) also used a paired watershed approach in Kentucky to quantify harvesting effects on water quality using three SMZ configurations applied at the watershed scale.”

References for the BMP-related papers, which appear in a special section of the January 2016 issue of the Journal of Forestry, follow.

Barrett, S.M., W.M. Aust, M.C. Bolding, W.E. Lakel III, and J.F. Munsell. 2016. Estimated erosion, ground cover, and best management practices audit details for postharvest evaluations of biomass and conventional clearcut harvests. Journal of Forestry 114(1):9–16.

Boggs, J., G. Sun, and S. McNulty. 2016. Effects of timber harvest on water quantity and quality in small watersheds in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Journal of Forestry 114(1):27–40.

Brown, K.R., K.J. McGuire, W.C. Hession, and W.M. Aust. 2016. Can the water erosion prediction project model be used to estimate best management practice effectiveness from forest roads? Journal of Forestry 114(1):17–26.

Schilling, E.B. 2016. Symposium on forestry best management practice (BMP) effectiveness in the eastern United States. Journal of Forestry 114(1):7–8.

Witt, E.L., C.D. Barton, J.W. Stringer, R.K. Kolda, and M.A. Cherry. 2016. Influence of variable streamside management zone configurations on water quality after forest harvest. Journal of Forestry 114(1):41–51.  

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