Best Management Practices
The protection of Virginia’s streams and water quality is of vital importance. Where harvesting is recommended, all log roads and skid trails should be properly located before logging actually begins.
During the actual harvesting process, steep sections of log roads and skid trails should have water diversion ditches placed every 50’ along the road. This will minimize erosion while at the same time maintain the road in a useable form for the logger. After the logging operation is completed, these roads and trails should be “bedded” to prevent subsequent erosion problems. These areas should be smoothed, water diversion ditches installed or cleaned, and a mixture of grasses and forbs seeded to establish permanent cover. If so desired, bush-hogging and/or discing in late February every 2-4 years will keep the road system open for future use and reseed the area all at the same time.
If harvesting is to include stands next to a stream, at least 50’ to either side of the stream should be left standing. This would provide a “filter strip” that would intercept erosion before it reaches the stream, and improve wildlife habitat in the process. All tops, laps and other logging debris should be kept out of any waterway, also.
It is very important that these prevention or maintenance ideas be considered before the timber is sold and may be incorporated in the timber sales contract.
The protection of this property from wildfire is essential. Wildfire rapidly destroys valuable timber, wildlife and property. From February 15 through April 30, open fires are not permitted within 300 feet of woodland, brushland, leaves, grass or anything capable of spreading between midnight and 4:00 p.m. The Forest Technician for your county should be contacted immediately in case of fire by telephoning your local Virginia Department of Forestry office or 911 to report a wildfire.