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Evaluating Best Management Practices for ephemeral channel protection following forest harvest in the Cumberland Plateau - preliminary findingsAuthor(s): Emma L. Witt; Christopher D. Barton; Jeffrey W. Stringer; Daniel W. Bowker; Randall K. Kolka
Source: In: Fei, Songlin; Lhotka, John M.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Miller, Gary W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 365-374.
Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (372.35 KB)
DescriptionMost states in the United States have established forestry best management practices to protect water quality and maintain aquatic habitat in streams. However, guidelines are generally focused on minimizing impacts to perennial streams. Ephemeral channels (or streams), which function as important delivery systems for carbon, nutrients, and sediment to perennial streams, are comparatively unprotected. An examination of the effectiveness of three types of streamside management zones around ephemeral channels is under way at the University of Kentucky's Robinson Forest, located in southeastern Kentucky. Treatments include: 1) no equipment limitation with complete overstory removal and unimproved crossings; 2) no equipment limitation with retention of channel bank trees and improved crossings; and 3) equipment restrictions within 7.6 m of the channel with retention of channel bank trees and improved crossings. The following improved crossing types were studied: wooden portable skidder bridges, steel pipe/culverts, and PVC pipe bundles. Water samples were taken during storm flows using automated water samplers and were analyzed for total suspended solids and turbidity. Initial results indicated that harvest operations resulted in increased sediment movement in ephemeral channels over unharvested controls. All improved channel crossings reduced the amount of sediment input over that of an unimproved ford. However, the 7.6-m equipment restriction zone did not provide additional sediment reductions.
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CitationWitt, Emma L.; Barton, Christopher D.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Bowker, Daniel W.; Kolka, Randall K. 2011. Evaluating Best Management Practices for ephemeral channel protection following forest harvest in the Cumberland Plateau - preliminary findings. In: Fei, Songlin; Lhotka, John M.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Miller, Gary W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 365-374.
- Defining perennial, intermittent and ephemeral channels in eastern Kentucky: application to forestry best management practices
- Sediment trapping by streamside management zones of various widths after forest harvest and site preparation
- Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis of mobile harvesting equipment and sediment delivery to streams during forest harvest operations on steep terrain: Experimental design
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