Forestry best management practices and sediment control at skidder stream crossings.
Stream crossings for skid trails have high sediment delivery ratios. Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) have proven to be effective for erosion control, but few studies have quantified the impact of various levels of BMPs on sedimentation. In this study, three skid-trail stream-crossing BMP treatments were installed on nine operational stream crossings (three replications) to evaluate the degree of sediment control associated with the different treatments. Treatments were: (1) slash, (2) mulch, and (3) mulch plus silt fence. Upstream and downstream water samples were collected daily at the stream crossings for 1 year following BMP installation. Samples were evaluated for total suspended solids. Both slash and mulch treatments applied to the stream-crossing approaches after removal of temporary skidder bridges were effective at reducing the amount of sediment entering the stream after harvest. The mulch plus silt-fence treatment was the most expensive treatment, yet it allowed more sediment to enter the stream at the approach due to silt-fence installation disturbances. Thus BMP related disturbances should be minimized adjacent to a stream bank.