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FOR-69: Field Guide to Best Management Practices for Timber Harvesting in Kentucky

BMP No. 10: Timber Harvesting in Wetland Areas

Wetlands are areas characterized by soils saturated with moisture during all or a large portion of the year and support a number of plants that grow in wet soils. The requirements in this BMP are supplemental to other BMPs and contain information and specifications for trafficking and timber harvesting around streams, sloughs, and other waters in a wetland.

Determining Wetland Areas

Official determination of whether a forested area is a wetland is the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, unless there is adjacent cropland, in which case the determination may be made by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Cooperative Extension Service (see Appendix F) for assistance in determining wetlands.

Constructing Roads, Trails, Landings

Road construction is the activity most likely to cause changes in the drainage of wetlands. When needed, locate roads on the higher ground or “ridges” and parallel to the drainage system, and use a minimum amount of fill material. Locate log decks on elevated areas away from streams as far as is practical. Keep log landings small and few in number.

Minimum Requirement:

Minimize construction of permanent roads, locate landings on higher ground, and restrict vehicle traffic to a minimum.

Crossing Streams and Sloughs

Minimum Requirement:

Avoid crossing of streams and sloughs, if possible.

When unavoidable, cross at right angles. Use culverts and bridges without altering natural drainage and without disturbing stream banks and other sensitive areas.

Retire temporary roads, trails, and landings (see BMP No. 1 and No. 2).

Streamside Management Zones (SMZs) in Wetland Areas

Minimum Requirement:

Leave a minimum of 50 percent of the overstory trees to shade perennial streams and sloughs.

General Felling and Skidding

Regulatory Requirements for BMP No. 10

(See Appendix A for Explanations)

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