Forest Roads and Construction of Associated Water Diversion Devices

The importance of forest roads and consideration of their proper design is frequently neglected by forest landowners. Some forests such as wilderness areas and other forests managed on a custodial management regime do not permit or require road access. But, most forest landowners like to drive into or through their forest. In many cases, existing roads were located and constructed many decades ago, and the landowners feel no cause for concern. But, many of these old roads are improperly located and constructed. Roads having obvious maintenance and environmental problems should be evaluated for usability and closed or relocated as necessary.

A Landowner's Guide to Building Forest Access Roads

An invasive species is defined as a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health according to The Forest Service Framework for Invasive Species (USDA Forest Service, 2003). The framework notes that thousands of invasive exotic plants, insects, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, diseases, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians have infested hundreds of millions of acres of lands and waters across the nation, causing massive disruption in ecosystem function, reducing biodiversity, and degrading ecosystem health. Forests, prairies, mountains, wetlands, rivers and oceans have each been infested by these aggressive exotic species.

The Layman’s Guide to Private Access Road Construction in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

It is ironic that roads designed to help people enjoy the Appalachians often destroy the beautiful scenery and clear water that make the mountains so attractive. Poorly constructed access roads often cause severe erosion, and stream sedimentation. These effects can degrade water quality for decades. Erosion can be disastrous in fragile mountain environments, and the landowner must pay for frequent and costly repair of a poorly designed road.

Maintaining the Forestry Exemption Under the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act

The North Carolina Sedimentation Pollution Control Act was passed in 1973. Its purpose is to prevent sediment from reaching streams by requiring the installation and maintenance of adequate sediment control measures during site-disturbing activities. The initial law provided a blanket exemption for agriculture and forestry. The 1989 North Carolina legislature amended the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act. The amendment maintains the forestry exemption but only on the condition that site-disturbing forestry activities be conducted in accordance with Forest Practices Guidelines.

Portable Bridges for Forest Road Stream Crossings

Stream crossings on forest roads frequently create problems for loggers and many landowners. Stream crossings are costly to build and time-consuming to install. They are also subject to failure during storms, and soil erosion from stream crossings is a major source of pollution in our streams.

Wildlife and Forest Stewardship

Developing forestland to continually produce timber and provide wildlife habitat requires an active management plan. Forest stewardship, the process of managing all of the forest’s natural resources together, enables us to conserve our forest resources, including timber, wildlife, soil, and water. Forestry and wildlife management are not only compatible, they are interrelated. Managing for wildlife habitat can even improve forest productivity. This publication describes the basic concepts of management, showing how forestry operations affect wildlife habitat.

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