Monday, September 1, 2008

September BMP Q&A

By: Shane Harrington, BMP Forester (Ret.), Texas Forest Service

Q: Last month you wrote about the new logger training workshop focusing on stream crossings. I have attended both the new stream crossing workshop as well as the traditional BMP workshop several years ago. I wanted to know if there were any additional classes related to BMPs that I could take or even a refresher class?

A: Glad to know that you have attended both the BMP and Stream Crossing workshops. I hope that the information you learned at the workshops has benefited you on your logging operations since then. The Texas Forest Service along with the Texas Forestry Association are continuously working on new innovative workshops for loggers. 

The traditional BMP workshop was designed to educate loggers on the importance of using BMPs, as well how to implement them correctly on their operations.  , This workshop is one of five “core” classes that loggers must attend to gain their Pro-Logger status.  Since 1995, almost 3,000 loggers have attended the BMP workshop.  Data collected by Texas Forest Service shows that BMP implementation on logging operations has increased to 91.7% since the workshop was developed, an all time high.  This is a direct result of the training that has been provided over the past 13 years.

In 2007 the Texas Forest Service along with the Texas Forestry Association began offering a new workshop focused on stream crossings.  This course was developed to provide in-depth training on the design, layout, implementation, and remediation of stream crossings..  To date, five workshops have been held throughout East Texas with over 170 loggers attending.  While this workshop is not required to gain Pro-Logger status, it does offer loggers the opportunity to obtain their six hours of continuing education credits needed to maintain their Pro-Logger status.

In 2005 the Texas Forest Service developed an online BMP training course as a part of the Pro-Logger program.  This course is meant to serve as a refresher for the core BMP training workshop.  It reviews many of the fundamental aspects of using BMPs and their importance in protecting water quality, as well as highlighting some of the minor revisions that were made to the BMP guidelines in 2004.  This course also provides loggers with a lot of flexibility in obtaining their continuing education hours.  It can be taken at any time online by going to  Participants will receive two hours of continuing education credit.

New BMP workshops are currently being developed and plans are to unveil one of the new workshops in 2009.  The newest BMP workshop being developed will focus on forest roads and how to properly install and maintain these roadways.  The main focus will be on how to prevent erosion from occurring on roadways and entering nearby water bodies.  Ninety percent of all sedimentation or erosion that occurs on logging operations can be attributed to the road system.  There are also plans to unveil another BMP workshop focusing on streamside management zones (SMZs).  For more information regarding current and future BMP workshops call the Texas Forestry Association at (936) 632-8733.  To obtain a copy of the BMP Bluebook or for more information regarding BMPs visit

* This article was published in the September 2008 issue of the Texas Logger