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University Forests

Best Management Practices

Best Forestry Management Practices Sign

Box Culvert    Water Bars    Skidder Bridge Crossing

Best Management Practices, (BMP's), are designed to protect or enhance water quality and wetland habitat in and around logging operations. In general, forestry BMP's direct loggers to either avoid surface water or decrease the momentum (i.e. the mass and velocity) of runoff on logging roads, trails, and landings - by far the major sources of soil erosion and sedimentation on logging operations.

This BMP demonstration area was constructed to show the installation of several of the most important BMP's for protecting water quality. 

Some examples of what can be found are pictured below.

Box Culvert

Box CulvertThis culvert was designed to provide access along this haul road without disturbing the intermittent stream. This culvert was constructed, using hemlock timbers, and installed in about 16 hours. The culvert was sized by measuring the average cross section of the stream at its normal high water mark and multiplying that number by 2.5 to arrive at the appropriate culvert opening.

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Water Bars

Picture of a waterbarAs with haul roads skid trails should be protected from excessive water volume and velocity after they are used. This water bar was constructed by using a small log placed at a 30 degree angle across the skid trail, with the inlet and outlet ends extending beyond the edge of the trail in order to adequately intercept runoff. Soil was then pushed over the log to form a barrier that intercepts and diverts water from the trail.

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Skidder Bridge Crossing

Picture of a skidder bridgeTemporary bridges are useful when it's necessary to cross streams without causing damage to either the stream bed or banks. This bridge was constructed of hemlock timbers and took about 11 hours to construct and install. This bridge will be removed and re-used at another site.


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University Forests Office
252 Nutting Hall
University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469-5755
Phone:  207-581-2887 | Fax: 207-581-2875

The University of Maine
, Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System