Sediment associated with forest operations in the Piedmont region
Reduced-impact forestry uses best management practices (BMPs) during operations to minimize soil erosion and sediment delivery to streams and to maintain or improve site productivity. However, the effi cacy of specifi c types of BMP implementation is not widely documented. Th is review synthesizes recent research that investigated contemporary BMP implementation and eff ectiveness in water quality protection associated with the following forest management operations: forest roads and skid trails, streamside management zones, harvesting, site preparation, and stream crossings. Th e review concentrates on studies conducted in the Piedmont region of the eastern United States and facilitates integration and comparison with forestry BMP eff ectiveness research from the western United States. General results indicate that the most serious water quality issues are associated with bare soil conditions that are hydrologically connected to streams by roads, skid trails, or concentrated fl ows. Future research should determine sediment delivery ratios for forest road and skid trail approaches to stream crossings in order to develop and implement management strategies for minimizing sediment that has the highest probability of reaching the stream.