Sunday, September 1, 2002

September BMP Q&A

By: Hughes Simpson, BMP Forester, Texas Forest Service

Q:   A few months ago, I received a copy of the Texas BMP Monitoring Checklist regarding one of my logging operations in the mail. I thought that I did a real good job following the Best Management Practices (BMPs) on this site and was glad to see that you felt the same way. In general, how are East Texas loggers doing in implementing forestry BMPs? Isn’t there some kind of report that the Texas Forest Service publishes documenting their findings?

A:   There sure is! The report you are talking about “Voluntary Implementation of Forestry Best Management Practices in East Texas” is currently at the printers and should be available in several weeks. An online version is posted on the TFS webpage at This information is extremely important because it shows how well voluntary efforts are protecting water quality.

The Texas Forest Service has published this report every two years, starting with the first round of BMP implementation monitoring in 1992. The current report, round 5, was compiled from the results of 150 site evaluations in which silvicultural activities were monitored between August 16, 2000 and April 23, 2002.

Random selection of potential sites is critical, and is primarily done through aerial detection of forestry operations. These sites may include any “normal” forestry activity (clearcuts, thinnings, site preparation, planting, etc.) and preferably have occurred within the last year. Before any BMP evaluation is conducted, permission must be granted by the landowner.

Overall BMP implementation for the monitored tracts was 91.5%, the highest rate ever in the history of the program. In general, implementation was higher on tracts under public or industrial ownership. The breakdown of the monitoring sites among ownership groups is as follows:
Public (10 sites) – 98.4%
Industry (66 sites) – 96.1%
NIPF (74 sites) – 86.4%

Major improvements from the last round of monitoring include an increase in overall BMP implementation on stream crossings and roads as well as an increase in implementation rates across all ownership groups. Although progress has been made in road and stream crossing construction, there is still room for improvement since these areas can have an impact on water quality.

Through the hard work and commitment of the forestry community, we have done an excellent job in protecting water quality by implementing BMPs on our forestry activities. Let’s challenge ourselves to improve upon this all time high, and reach an overall implementation rate of 95% for the next round. Congratulations on a job well done! If you have a question regarding BMPs, please call me at (936) 639-8180.

* This article was published in the September 2002 issue of the Texas Logger

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