Saturday, May 1, 2010


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

Q:   The Texas Forest Service over the last several years has released several reports documenting how well BMP’s are being used on forestry operations here in East Texas.  I would like to know if the Texas Forest Service will be conducting any more of these surveys in the future and are the past reports available anywhere.

A:   Since 1991 the Texas Forest Service has conducted six rounds of BMP implementation monitoring.  During each round a minimum of 150 randomly chosen tracts are inspected for the implementation of BMP’s with the cooperation of the landowner.  Once all the tracts have been inspected the data that was collected is used to produce a report which shows how well BMP’s are being used. 

In December 2008 the Texas Forest Service released its seventh BMP implementation report.  The overall implementation rate for the sites selected in round seven was 91.5%.  Family forest owners had an implementation rate of 88.7%, forest industry had an implementation rate of 91.1%, public lands (national and state forestlands) had an implementation rate of 100%, and corporate (our newest category of landowners) had an implementation rate of 95.7%. 

During round seven improvements were seen in several areas such as a decrease in the number of significant risks to water quality, higher BMP implementation on avoiding or minimizing the number of temporary stream crossings, and higher overall BMP implementation on site preparation and wetlands.  Although improvements were seen there were also major deficiencies seen. These deficiencies were failure to restore and stabilize stream crossings on temporary roads and leaving inadequate SMZ widths along intermittent and perennial streams. 

Starting in May 2010 the Texas Forest Service will begin its eighth round of BMP implementation monitoring.  Over the next 12-14 months, the Texas Forest Service will randomly select a minimum of 150 tracts and with the cooperation of the landowner evaluate them for the implementation of BMP’s.  In 2011 the eighth report will be released showing the overall findings of these inspections.  Hopefully we will continue to see an increase in the implementation rates and see a decrease in the number of deficiencies.

All previous reports can be found on the Texas Forest Service website at  You can look at each report and see how far we have come over the years in the implementation of BMP’s but also see the areas in which we still need to improve.  If you have any questions about the BMP implementation reports or BMP’s in general please feel free to call me at (903) 297-3910.

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