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Forest ResourcesPhone: 501-671-2197Fax: 501-671-2110
Email Kyle Cunningham:email@example.com
Best management practices or BMPs are management practices that can help landowners
conserve and protect water quality. They are NOT how to grow bigger trees! These
practices are also voluntary but can help woodland owners demonstrate their commitment
to good forest management and stewardship.
Generally speaking, forest management is a very minor contributor to stream sedimentation
and water pollution. However, certain forest management activities including road
construction, skid trails, and log landings can impact water quality.
Woodland owners, foresters, loggers, and other landowners need to understand:
The location of your forest stand can influence outcomes of forest management practices
Wetlands: If your forest land is located in a seasonal wetland area, certain management practices
including timber harvesting, should only be applied when the site is dry.
Steep, rocky slopes: If your property is characterized by steep, rocky slopes, timber harvesting can
be more difficult.
Stream sides: If your forest land is located along a stream or river, certain management activities
can be modified to protect stream banks and overall water quality.
Forest management activities can potentially cause water quality problems. The following
are a few potential concerns for water quality.
Most States have developed guidelines, commonly called best management practices (BMPs),
that can help landowners, loggers, and forest contractors minimize forest site damage
and soil erosion. These BMPs are voluntary in Arkansas and can be modified for a landowner's specific
The best way to protect stream banks during timber harvesting is to maintain some
degree of forest cover and/or other ground cover along stream sides. Forest cover
along stream or river banks can also protect water quality problems arising from livestock,
crop, pasture, or forest management. Maintaining trees on highly erodible steep slopes
can protect a landowner against soil erosion and water runoff problems.
Choose a site preparation method that minimizes exposing and disturbing the soil.
The recommendations briefly discussed here provide an overview. More specific recommendations
can be found in the Arkansas Forestry Commission's Best Management Practices available on-line at the Arkansas Forestry Commission website. You can also obtain
a copy by contacting the AFC at 501-296-1940.
Loggers, professional foresters, and other natural resource professionals are the
individuals most likely to implement BMPs as part of a timber harvest or other forest
management activity conducted for a landowner. Landowners, however, can and should
require BMP implementation by including them as a provision of the timber sale contract
or other forest management contract. You, as the landowner, are ultimately responsible
for protecting the water quality of your woodland.
Non-point sources of water pollution, including any generated from forest management
activities, were included in Section 319 of the Water Quality Act passed by the United States Congress in 1987. The primary purpose of the Act is to
improve water quality and control non-point source pollution. For information about
government policies concerning water quality, go to Extension's Water Quality Policies.
Forest land can be managed for a variety of landowner objectives including income
generation and habitat protection.
Forest land managed as part of a larger farm or ranch can not only generate income
but protect water and soil quality and enhance wildlife habitat. Best management practices
and forest buffer strips are potential tools that landowners can use to reach this
goal. Landowners interested in learning more about forest or riparian buffer strips
can obtain more information from our fact sheets and guides. Contact your local county Extension office for more information.