Water Quality Best Management Practices Monitoring

The Chippewa National Forest monitors water quality best management practices (BMPs) for a wide range of natural resource projects it implements in any given year. Protocols follow a national program, that was developed by the Forest Service and initially rolled out in 2012. The purpose of the program is to establish a uniform direction for BMP implementation that meets all Federal, State, and Local government laws and regulations. It also establishes consistent processes for monitoring and evaluating BMP implementation and effectiveness, including documentation and reporting.

In 2019, the Chippewa National Forest evaluated BMPs at seven sites, including a prescribed burn near Moss Lake, low-water crossings and bridge installations on Forest Roads 2207 and 2171, vegetation management on units in the Ethel and Tanglewood timber sales, and two developed campgrounds (Deer Lake and Stony Point).

Results from the monitoring revealed that pertinent BMPs were consistently applied at all sites, meeting direction from associated project planning and program-level guidance documents. Those BMPs were also shown to be effective at avoiding/minimizing effects to water quality. Although very few water quality issues were observed during the monitoring, the effort provided an excellent opportunity for Chippewa National Forest administrators and resources specialists in multiple disciplines to meet and discuss how to further improve project effectiveness, ranging from the initial project planning stage all through project design and implementation.

Forest Service employees talking.

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