Publication Details

Evaluating Best Management Practices for ephemeral channel protection following forest harvest in the Cumberland Plateau - preliminary findings

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Witt, Emma L.; Barton, Christopher D.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Bowker, Daniel W.; Kolka, Randall K.

Year Published

2011

Publication

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.

Abstract

Most 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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Citation

Witt, 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.

Last updated on: June 20, 2011