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Title: Development of a Repeatable Regional Protocol for Performance-Based Monitoring of Forestry Best Management Practices
Author: Ryder, Roger; Edwards, Pamela J.
Publication: Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-335. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 15 p.
Key Words: BMP effectiveness, underlying BMP principles, expert system, water quality, erosion, sedimentation, timber harvesting, logging, road construction, road maintenance
Abstract: There has been a long-standing interest in improving Best Management Practice (BMP) monitoring within and among states. States monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of BMPs for forest operations take a variety of approaches. This creates inconsistencies in data collection and how results are reported. Since 1990 attempts have been made to develop a consistent BMP reporting methodology; the attempts have met with varying degrees of success, utility, and acceptance. Traditional monitoring focused on individual BMPs in terms of prescriptive guidelines, but this approach created inconsistent monitoring methodologies. To improve consistency and allow a more universal method for BMP monitoring, the approach to developing the protocol, described herein, focuses on the underlying ?principles? which guide the design and applicability of BMPs. Shifting emphasis to the underlying principles facilitates outcome or performance-based monitoring of BMPs, which is a more universal, less subjective, and more direct means of evaluating BMP performance for protecting water quality. In turn, repeatability is improved. In this paper we discuss the development process and initial testing of a consistent repeatable BMP monitoring protocol for timber harvesting activities adjacent to water bodies. The protocol could be applied across much of the United States.
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