Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Texas Water Source - December 2011

December Issue of the Texas Water Source Now Available

December BMP Q&A

By: Chris Duncan, Water Resources Forester (Ret.), Texas Forest Service

Q:  I usually try to comply with Best Management Practices (BMPs) on my harvesting operations, but it is not always easy dealing with landowners. I have a hard time explaining the benefits of following the recommended guidelines. What advice would you give me to tell my clients to convince them of the importance of using BMPs?

A:   This is a tough problem that many loggers and contractors are faced with every day. Implementing BMPs is not only time consuming, but can also be costly. It is understandable that in today’s tough economy, many landowners want as much value from their land as possible when harvesting timber from their property. However, if you take some time to explain to the landowner the many advantages that BMPs provide, using BMPs often becomes a more appealing option.

The ultimate goal of BMPs is to provide us with clean water. After a year of such terrible drought, I think we can all agree that water is very important to us all. There is a limited amount of fresh water available for human consumption and we cannot afford to do anything that will further reduce our water source. Polluted water is very expensive to treat, causing our water bills to rise.

Erosion control is also another important function of BMPs. Erosion can be very damaging to the productivity of the site, can greatly reduce accessibility, and can be very damaging to the environment. This process removes valuable soil that is necessary to grow quality timber. At the same time site productivity is decreasing, there is also an increased risk of sedimentation into our streams.

Wildlife can also benefit from implementing BMPs. Streamside Management Zones (SMZs) can provide habitat and travel corridors for many species, including deer, birds, and squirrels. Water temperatures in streams are kept inside a constant range due to the shade provided by the SMZ, maintaining aquatic populations of fish, amphibians, and insects.

The Texas Reforestation and Conservation Act of 1999 (SB 977) allows for a financial incentive to using BMPs. This legislation gives forest landowners property tax relief in special qualified zones, such as SMZs and reforested acres. Under this bill, a landowner would receive a 50% reduction in their appraised value for these restricted use timberland zones.

In Texas, we are operating under a voluntary BMP system. This means that there are no laws mandating that we follow the recommended guidelines. If we choose not to adhere to these principles, then we might enter into a regulatory system. This type of situation would further infringe upon private property rights, be more costly, and less efficient.

The reasons listed above are good selling points to make a case for installing BMPs on your property. The Texas Forest Service has several brochures and BMP fact sheets on their webpage that are very educational and available for you to use. They are located at If you would prefer to have one of our water resources foresters talk to the landowner directly or have a any questions regarding BMPs, please call us at (936) 639-8180.

* This article was published in the December 2011 issue of the Texas Logger

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November BMP Q&A

By: Chris Duncan, Water Resources Forester (Ret.), Texas Forest Service

Q: We own several hundred acres of timberland which were lost due to the recent wildfires in East Texas. We have spoken with our consulting forester and are planning on conducting some salvage harvesting operations. Our property has a fairly good sized stream which usually flows 3-4 months out of the year during the wetter months. Most of what we will be harvesting was completely or nearly completely killed by the fire, although there are some areas with higher survival. I would like to know if you have any recommendations on how we should conduct our harvesting so that we have as little impact to water quality as possible.
A: Sorry to hear about your loss of timber during this unprecedented fire season. I am glad to hear that you have consulted a professional forester to help you with the recovery of some of your timbers value. I would be happy to provide some recommendations for Best Management Practices which will help you reduce the risk of impacting your streams water quality during your operations. It appears you likely have an intermittent stream that flows through your property based on your description of the stream. Let’s start with the Streamside Management Zone (SMZ) along this stream.

SMZs provide several functions to help protect water quality. One of an SMZs primary functions is to provide shade to the water body. The shade provided by an SMZ helps regulate the water temperature, thereby protecting the thermal qualities of the stream. Many organisms have small tolerances to large thermal changes. Therefore, care should be taken during wildfire salvage operations not to remove more trees from the SMZ than absolutely necessary. Your forester should survey the SMZ, and make determinations of which trees will likely die from the fire, and which trees may survive. We recommend that any trees which may survive be left uncut to provide as much shade to the stream as possible. A good rule of thumb for hardwoods in the SMZ may be to leave any trees which still have at least 50% of their crown intact. As far as the pine trees go, if they are going to die from the fires we had this year, they have probably already turned brown and dropped their needles. Any pine trees which still have a majority of the crown in lush green needles should be saved if possible.

While selectively harvesting within the SMZ, care should be taken to disturb the ground as little as possible to maintain the SMZs protection of the stream from runoff. If the vegetation on the ground within the SMZ was completely consumed, efforts should be made to re-establish vegetation as soon as possible.

On rare occasion (flat terrain, lightly erodible soils, and cooler burned areas), a forester may use his professional judgment to determine if it is safe to narrow an SMZ so that it is less than the recommended 50’ on each side of a stream during salvage operations to recover some of the value. If it is determined that an SMZ will be narrower (maybe 30’– 40’ feet wide) than the 50’ recommendation, efforts should be made to disturb the soils and vegetation that would normally fall within the recommended SMZ as little as possible. Any mechanical or chemical site preparation or machine planting should be conducted outside the original 50’ buffer to reduce the risk of impairing water quality.

As far as the rest of the tract outside the SMZ; the harvesting, site preparation, and planting should all be conducted in accordance with all other BMP guidelines in the bluebook.

If you have any questions about wildfire salvage BMPs or any other BMPs please contact me.

* This article was published in the November 2011 issue of the Texas Logger

Saturday, October 1, 2011

BMP Trivia Question

Streamside Management Zones (SMZs) are buffers maintained on perennial and intermittent stream to protect water quality during forest operations. The minimum width of an SMZ is 50 on either side of the stream to allow runoff water to be filtered before entering the stream. The minimum tree density of the SMZ is based on a measure called "basal area" and recommends that a mimum of 50 square feet of basal area be evenly distributed across the SMZ. If an SMZ was made up entirely of 7” DBH trees and nothing else, how many trees per acre would it take to meet the minimum recommended guideline of at least 50 Sq. Ft of basal area within the SMZ? (Hint: Refer to the chart on page 109 in the bluebook)

A. 36 trees per acre

B. 92 trees per acre

C. 187 trees per acre

D. 306 trees per

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Texas Water Source - September 2011

September Issue of the Texas Water Source Now Available

September BMP Q&A

By: Chuck Coup, BMP Forester (Ret.), Texas Forest Service

Q:  I have a question about a landowner that is clear-cutting a wetland / forest swamp area. It is a patchy clearcut, and they are removing most of the merchantable trees (the cypress and gum), leaving most of the tallow, gnarly oaks, and willow. There are no issues with rutting because of the dry conditions, and all best management practices (BMPs), to the best of my knowledge, are being followed. Of course, it appears that the area is being over-harvested, because I know the BMP handbook says you’re supposed to treat forest swamp areas as if they were SMZs. The tricky part is that this is a land conversion harvest. The landowner has managed the property for timber for many years, but is conducting this harvest because he wants to turn the area into pastureland. In fact, cows are already on the site. However, as I understand it, because this is a land conversion harvest that is taking the property out of ongoing forestry, BMPs would not apply. Is this correct?

A:  An excellent question! Let me start by saying great work consulting the BMP handbook to find out about the guidelines for forest swamps. You are exactly right that the green section of the handbook recommends treating these areas as if they were SMZs; so clear-cutting would not be a recommended forest management strategy. I am also glad to hear that the dry conditions allowed you to operate in the wetland without causing ruts, because it is extremely important that the natural flow patterns of these areas be maintained in order to protect the wetland’s many beneficial functions.

Now, do BMPs apply to this wetland conversion harvest? Well the answer is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no.

First, let’s start with some background information. As most of you know, our forestry BMPs originate from the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) which is directed at protecting our water resources. Section 404 of the CWA specifically relates to wetlands and makes it unlawful to “discharge dredged or fill material” (which includes rock, sand, soil, clay, and wood chips) into “waters of the United States” (which includes wetlands such as forest swamps) without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE); commonly referred to as a 404 permit. This basically just means you can’t legally impact a wetland without first obtaining a permit from the ACOE. Fortunately, forestry is generally recognized as a land use that is compatible with wetland protection, and as a result, the CWA specifically exempts forestry operations from requiring 404 permitting.

However, that permit exemption comes with a few important conditions.

The first requires that the forestry operation qualify as “normal silviculture,” which includes such activities as soil bedding, site preparation, and harvesting. The second requires that the “fifteen mandatory road BMPs” are followed (check your BMP handbook if you are not familiar with these). The third requires that the operation must be conducted as part of an “established” silviculture operation; which means that the area has previously been managed for timber and the operation is just a continuation of that management. The fourth requires that no toxic pollutants be discharged into the waterway. And finally, the fifth requirement says that the purpose of the operation cannot be to convert any part of a wetland (such as a forest swamp) to a use that it was not previously subject to (such as pastureland). All five of these conditions must be met in order to be exempted from the 404 permit requirement.

Having gone through all of that, the answer to your question is “No.” While still a good idea, BMPs do not apply to your wetland conversion harvest, and therefore you are not required to harvest the area as if it were an SMZ. However, this is not because wetland conversion operations are somehow exempt from BMPs. Rather, it is because wetland conversion operations do not fall within the forestry exemption, and therefore, are required by federal law to have a section 404 permit from the ACOE.

For more information on wetlands and other BMPs visit the Texas Forest Service webpage at or contact me by phone at (936) 639-8180.

* This article was published in the September 2011 issue of the Texas Logger

Monday, August 1, 2011

August BMP Q&A

By: Chuck Coup, BMP Forester (Ret.), Texas Forest Service

Q:  There are all sorts of difficult situations that can arise when my guys are attempting to construct a functioning wing ditch. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Can you tell me some of the most common problems you come across with wing ditches?

A:  Isn’t it amazing how a structure as simple as a wing ditch can sometimes be so troublesome! The primary function of a wing ditch is to collect runoff water from the road surface and roadside ditches and disperse it into stable areas away from water bodies or other sensitive areas. They are typically most effective when used in conjunction with a waterbar that intercepts, diverts, and drains runoff water from the road surface and the roadside ditch on the opposite side. It is really nothing more than a water outlet for the road, but knowing where and how to construct them in certain situations can be very tricky!

One of the most common problems I see with wing ditches is that they are longer than necessary. It is generally not effective to construct a wing ditch that carries runoff water long distances away from the road. This practice unnecessarily exposes additional soil to erosion and increases the distance that the runoff water has to flow before reaching stable, vegetated ground cover. Long wing ditches also run the risk of discharging polluted water into or near water bodies or other sensitive areas. Keep your wing ditches only as long as necessary to encourage the water to flow away from the road. One exception to this may be in extremely flat areas where it is difficult to get the water to drain away from the road. Typically though, if you have a little topography, gravity will do the trick. If you think you need to construct a long wing ditch in order to deal with a large volume of water being carried down your road, you should instead consider increasing the frequency of your wing ditches (and waterbars) by putting them closer together. That will divide the amount of water you are trying to manage between wing ditches.

Another problem I often come across is wing ditches that are constructed as narrow channels using the corner of the skidder or dozer blade. I frequently see these V-shaped channels in combination with wing ditches that are too long, resulting in a turnout that erodes and carries sediments excessive distances – completely the opposite of what we want. A better approach is to keep the dozer or skidder blade level with the ground and make a wide flat outlet that disperses the water over a broad area. This kind of outlet promotes sheet flow versus channel flow which spreads the water out and reduces its speed. Slow moving water cannot carry sediments as efficiently as fast moving channelized water can.

Other problems are typically related to where the wing ditch discharges. I occasionally come across waterbars that are correctly constructed on the edge of an SMZ but have a wing ditch that carries the polluted water through the SMZ and discharges it either directly into or within feet of the stream channel. That’s bad news for the fish and other aquatic wildlife. Another situation I repeatedly see are wing ditches constructed down steep slopes which eventually leads to excessive erosion. One way that you might avoid these situations is by putting a gentle uphill turn in your wing ditch outlet. “J-hooking” your wing ditches, as it is called, can help to divert the water away from sensitive areas like stream channels or steep slopes and also helps to slow the water’s speed. However, don’t confuse this practice with the futile attempt to carry water uphill by putting wing ditches on the high side of the road or against the slope of the land. The wing ditch should still have a slight down grade and follow the natural contour of the site (and be flat and only as long as necessary). That’s one approach that I have found to be effective, but I am sure that you guys have come up with more creative solutions to these problems. If you have, drop me a line as I would love to hear them!

Finally, if you get a chance, I would recommend that you go back and take a look at some of the wing ditches you installed in the past, especially the ones that you were uncertain about. See if they worked and if they didn’t what you might need to do differently in the future.

For more information on wing ditches and other BMPs visit the Texas Forest Service webpage at or contact me by phone at (936) 639-8180. 

* This article was published in the August 2011 issue of the Texas Logger

Friday, July 1, 2011

BMP Trivia Question

Access roads provide an effective and efficient transportation system to protect forest land and water quality when removing forest products from the harvest site, developing the forest for recreation, accessing the are for forest fire suppression, or other needed forest management activities. Properly located and constructed roads will provide safety, higher vehicle speeds, and longer operating periods while reducing operating and maintenance cost. According to the BMP Handbook, which of the following is the correct definition of a permanent road?

A. A route over which logs are moved to a landing or road.

B. Primary or secondary roads constructed to provide all-or nearly all-season access for silvicultural activities and are maintained regularly.

C. A road constructed for a specific use or single operation and normally retired upon completion of the operation.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June BMP Q&A

By: Chuck Coup, BMP Forester (Ret.), Texas Forest Service

Q:   When dealing with temporary stream crossings, I have been told several things about where to put waterbars to prevent road sediment from entering the stream. I have heard that you are supposed to put a waterbar on each side of the streambank at the crossing to prevent any water flowing down the road from getting into the stream. I have also been told to never put any waterbars inside the SMZ. Would you please clear this up for me?

A:   It is certainly easy to see how both recommendations could seem valid, but let’s see if we can’t shed some light on this debate.

The thought behind closing out a temporary stream crossing by constructing a waterbar at the edge of a stream is that it will provide a place to stop or redirect any water entering the SMZ just before it gets into the stream. However, experience has shown that waterbars at the streamside typically serve more as a source of sediment. These waterbars will often slough off into the stream with a heavy rain. If rains are heavy enough to cause the stream to overflow its banks, the waterbar may be completely washed away.

Therefore, as a general rule, waterbars should be kept at least 50 feet away from the stream channel (i.e., outside the SMZ). A properly constructed waterbar at the edge of the SMZ will divert water off the road as it approaches the SMZ and give plenty of distance for the water to slow down, spread out, and drop any sediment before it reaches the stream. Just be sure you don’t construct a long narrow wing ditch off that water bar into the SMZ that will channelize the water and direct it into the stream.

Of course, as with any rule, there are exceptions. If your SMZ is wider than the minimum 50-foot recommendation then it would be alright to have a waterbar within the SMZ. If you are dealing with steep approaches and erosive soils then it may be necessary to construct an additional waterbar with in the 50-foot buffer. However, you should try to keep it as far back from the stream bank as possible and be sure that it does not discharge directly into the stream channel.

It is important that you also re-establish the original slope and condition of the streambank as best as you can when you pull out your temporary stream crossing. An effort should be made to stabilize the streambanks where the crossing and approaches to the crossing were. Stabilizing these areas becomes even more important for crossings with more erodible soils or steeper slopes. This can be accomplished using grass seed or logging slash; however, you want to make sure that any logging slash you put next to the stream is well incorporated into the soil and above flood level so that it will not wash into the channel during high flows. If this is done, there should be little or no erosion at the crossing.

As always, the very best way to prevent sediment from entering a stream at a crossing is to avoid putting in the crossing in the first place.

For more information on stream crossing BMPs visit the Texas Forest Service webpage at or contact me at (936) 639-8180.

* This article was published in the June 2011 issue of the Texas Logger

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Texas Water Source - May 2011

May Issue of the Texas Water Source Now Available

      May BMP Q&A

      By: Chuck Coup, BMP Forester (Ret.), Texas Forest Service

      Q:   In recent months the outbreak of wildfires and the threat of wildfires occurring has been high.  I want to protect my timber from a possible wildfire by installing firelanes around my tract.  Are there any BMPs that I should follow during this project to prevent any impacts on water quality from occurring?

      A:   Installing firelanes around your timber is a great way to protect your investment by reducing the threat of a possible wildfire.  Firelanes work by creating a barrier and removing the available fuel source between adjoining stands or tracts.  By removing the fuel source along these barriers aids in preventing a wildfire one stand or tract to another.  However, it is important to remember that there are potential impacts to water quality that can occur if caution is not taken. 

      Guidelines for properly constructing and maintaining firelanes can be found in the Texas Forest Service’s BMP Bluebook.  These recommendations are designed to prevent any unnecessary erosion form occurring thus minimizing the potential for impacts on water quality. 

      Firelanes should be constructed along the perimeter of the tract and follow the boundaries of Streamside Management Zones.  Locating these barriers outside of SMZs will limit the amount of sedimentation that may result.  This will also protect the litter and organic matter of the SMZ so it can continue to serve as a filter.    

      To allow for proper drainage and erosion control, waterbars and wing ditches should be installed in a timely manner.  Recommendations for installing these devices can be found on pages 34 and 38 of the BMP Bluebook.  These recommendations include how to properly build waterbars, proper spacing for waterbars, and specifications on properly installing wing ditches.  When installing wing ditches, make sure that the runoff water is not being discharged directly into streams.    

      Regular maintenance on firelanes is necessary to avoid potential erosion problems.  This includes periodic inspections, especially after heavy rains, to make sure that they are still functioning properly and are not washed out.  Mowing, rather than blading, is the preferred type of maintenance because it minimizes the amount of exposed mineral soil.  Care should be taken when blading is the only option. 

      Implementing these control structures can be very costly when using heavy machinery.  For economical as well as environmental reasons, it is important to only build firelanes as wide and deep as necessary.  Woody debris and other flammable material should be kept away from firelanes.  These objects can ignite, creating a pathway for the fire to spread into SMZs or adjoining lands.  If you have a question regarding BMPs, please call me at (936) 639-8180.

      * This article was published in the May 2011 issue of the Texas Logger

      Friday, April 1, 2011

      BMP Trivia Question

      True or false? Dirt may be pushed into a stream channel to create a temporary crossing as long as stream flows will wash the dirt downstream and restore the natural flow of the waterbody within a reasonable period of time.

      Click on "comments" below and post your answers.

      Tuesday, March 1, 2011

      March BMP Q&A

      By: Chuck Coup, BMP Forester (Ret.), Texas Forest Service

      Q:  I understand that taking time to plan out a forestry activity is an extremely important step in protecting water quality. In order to keep up with the times I am interested in using new technology to help in planning my forestry operations. Can you make some suggestions?

      A:  I sure can. Many of you may be familiar with traditional forest planning tools such as aerial photos, paper topographic maps, and soil survey books. All of these resources are very useful and readily available to forest landowners, managers, and loggers today. However, with the rise of today’s technological society these tools are also now readily available on the internet, free of charge. Now, some of you may cringe or break out in a cold sweat at the thought of sitting down to a computer or going online. Not a problem! As I mentioned, soil surveys, topo maps, and aerial photos are all still available from local agencies, and the Texas Forest Service would be more than happy to help you locate these resources. Professional foresters also have access to these tools and use them regularly.

      If, however, you are tech savvy, or know someone who is, or if you are just feeling adventurous here are some online forest planning resources that you may find helpful.

      Topographic maps

      Topographic maps help you get an overall view of the forest and a feel for the layout of the land. They display elevation through a series of contour lines and show the location of roads, towns, pipelines, lakes, wetlands, streams, structures, and land cover across the landscape. They are useful for laying out road systems, estimating the costs of implementing best management practices, and avoiding wet area’s and steep slopes.

      Free topo maps are available to download from the United States Geological Survey(USGS) Store. The interactive map locator allows you to navigate to any place in the Country and download all available maps (7.5, 15 and 30 minute topographic map series) for that location. TheNational Map Seemless Server, also maintained by the USGS, is another good source for free topographic maps (and much more). Click on “Seamless Viewer” on the left hand side of the screen.

      Aerial Photos

      Aerial photographs give you a bird’s eye view of the forest. While many of the features visible on aerial photos are also shown on topo maps, aerial photos tend to be newer and therefore reveal more current features of the landscape. Knowledge of current road systems may help in identifying backside access to a tract or avoid the expense of crossing a large stream. Aerial photos can also show existing land uses and the arrangement of forest timber types.

      GoogleMaps is a free online mapping program that allows you to view and zoom in and out of aerial photos at nearly any spot on planet Earth, with the additional benefit of labeled roads, towns, and structures. GoogleEarth is a similar program, free for download, that also allows you to measure distances, mark points and areas, and displays additional map features. Google Earth also allows you to share the map information you generate with other Google Earth users, such as a consulting forester for example. Both of these programs offer the ability to view aerial photos in 3D. These aerial photos are frequently updated.

      A great way to get started with Google Earth is by taking a look at “Making GoogleEarth Work for Land Management,” a free forestry webinar available online.

      Soil Surveys

      Knowing and understanding the soil type for the property that you are managing can be a tremendous help in protecting water quality during forestry activities. Soil surveys classify and describe the location and expanse of different soil types and contain other useful information, such as the location of wet areas, drainage patterns, and the grade of slopes. Soil surveys also provide important information related to forestry operations, such as a location’s suitability for logging roads, landings, equipment operability and tendency for erosion and compaction. This information can assist in locating new roads, identifying problems with existing roads, and avoiding wetlands and other sensitive areas.

      Soil survey information for nearly any location in the United States is available for free using the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Web Soil Survey, a free online mapping program that allows you to locate and define an area of interest and explore the soil data to determine the suitability of the soils for a particular use. You can also produce custom soil maps and reports. Free copies of the traditional soilsurvey reports for each County in Texas are also available in .pdf format online.

      While an in depth explanation and detailed instructions on how to use these individual resources is beyond the scope of this article, a lot of helpful information is available online for free. Generally, each site offers specific information on how to use and navigate their respective program. We understand that these tools may not necessarily be right for everyone, but the good news is that other means of obtaining the same information still exist. However, if you are interested in exploring new resources and ways of gathering information to plan your forestry activities, I would encourage you to take a look at these sites.

      To learn more about Texas’s forestry BMPs, please visit the Texas Forest Service website at or contact the Texas Forest Service water resources office in Lufkin (936) 639-8180 or Longview (903) 297-3910. If you have any questions about BMPs please contact Chuck Coup at the TFS office in Lufkin.

      * This article was published in the March 2011 issue of the Texas Logger

      Tuesday, February 1, 2011

      The Texas Water Source - February 2011

      February Issue of the Texas Water Source Now Available

      February BMP Q&A

      By: Chuck Coup, BMP Forester (Ret.), Texas Forest Service

      Q: I know that the Texas Forest Service periodically monitors and reports on the rate that best management practices are being used during our forestry operations in Texas. What is our current implementation rate and how does that compare to the rest of the United States?

      A: Great question! The implementation rate for forestry best management practices (BMP) is a key measure for judging the effectiveness of our efforts to protect water quality during forest operations. For nearly two decades now the Texas Forest Service BMP program has been monitoring the level of BMP implementation on forestry operations across East Texas. Over this time, implementation of Forestry BMPs has risen from 79% in 1992 to its current level of 92%. That means that at any given time 9 out of every 10 forestry operations in East Texas are implementing BMPs properly. Now that is certainly something we should all be proud of! 

      So how do we stack up with the rest of the country? Well let’s first look at how our 92% implementation rate compares to the rest of the south. In 2008 the Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF), representing 13 southern states (including Texas), published a report comparing BMP monitoring data across the South from 1997 - 2007. The overall implementation rate was 87%, so as you can see, Texas is a leader in the region. 

      We can also make this comparison in finer detail. The report breaks down BMP implementation into seven categories: timber harvesting, site preparation, forest roads, stream crossings, SMZs, chemical application, and firebreaks. The implementation rate for each of these categories across the south was at least 85%, except the firebreaks category which only scored 73%. In Texas, results from the most recent round of monitoring (2008) demonstrate higher rates of implementation in each of these categories with the exception of stream crossings and SMZs. However, implementation in these categories was within three percentage points of the average for the Southern Region and has shown significant improvement since the first survey in 1992.

      Comparing implementation rates across the country is a little trickier because different BMP guidelines and evaluation systems are used, and because some states do not monitor or report BMP implementation. A recently published report (2010) estimates the national average BMP implementation rate, after adjusting for different harvest levels in each state, to be 89%. The average implementation rate reported by the states with the 10 highest annual harvest removals, which includes Texas, was 91%. However, it should be noted that several of these states have strict regulatory programs for protecting water quality. Texas has achieved a 92% BMP implementation rate through voluntary compliance alone.

      The take home message here is that Texas is a leader in implementing forestry BMPs, both at the regional and national level. That of course is the direct result of conscientious loggers and landowners such as you voluntarily taking the initiative to protect water quality during forest operations. Let’s continue to keep the use of BMPs in Texas voluntary by protecting water quality and showing the rest of the country how to operate in an efficient, economical, and environmental manner.

      To learn more about Texas’s forestry BMP implementation rate, please visit our website at or contact the Texas Forest Service water resources office in Lufkin (936) 639-8180 or Longview (903) 297-3910. If you have any questions about BMPs please contact Chuck Coup at the TFS office in Lufkin.

      * This article was published in the February 2011 issue of the Texas Logger 

      Saturday, January 1, 2011

      BMP Trivia Question

      True or false? Herbicide rinsate resulting from cleaning empty application equipment is safe to dump on the ground as long as the equipment has been rinsed the recommended 3 times. (Hint: Herbicide equipment cleanup is covered in the BMP handbook)

      Click on "comments" below and post your answers.