The National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA) mandates that management systems “will not produce substantial and permanent impairment of the productivity of the land.” In response to this mandate, soil quality standards were developed for each Region of the USDA Forest Service. To comply with the NFMA mandate in the Northern Region, detrimental soil disturbance (DSD; a combination of compaction, rutting, severely burned soil, displacement, erosion, and soil mass movement) must not exceed 15% of the areal extent of a timber harvest unit when harvest and site preparation activities are complete. In the Northern Region, monitoring of post-harvest soil disturbance levels has been achieved using several methods since the soil quality standards were last revised in 1999. Despite the lack of a common monitoring protocol, the shared objective of all soil monitoring methods has been to find the areal extent of detrimentally disturbed soil on the harvest unit in order to determine the extent to which harvest activities meet the Regional standard.
Document Type: Other Documents