Basal area is a measure of forest density that accounts for the size of the trees. The higher the basal area in a forest, the higher the density of tree cover. Basal area is important to Best Management Practices because Streamside Management Zones (SMZs) need to have at least a minimum basal area of 50 square feet evenly distributed across their area to properly protect perennial and intermittent streams. In order to determine the basal area of a stand you first need to know the basal area formula. Do you know what it is? (Hint look in the “How to Calculate Basal Area” section of the BMP handbook)
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