Stream Crossings for Logging Operations: A Video
Pennsylvania State University
Basin Program Funds:
Erosion and sedimentation problems associated with stream crossings in forestry
practices have been relatively high. While there has been some work on forest
practice effects on water quality, research focusing on the sediment delivered
by stream crossings for haul roads and skids trails has, until recently, been
Erosion and sedimentation have been identified as major sources of water quality
degradation in the Great Lakes basin. Increased sediment delivery from streams
entering the Great Lakes can carry excessive nutrients and toxic chemicals that
can cause aesthetic, biological, physical, and chemical degradation of the Great
Lakes ecosystem. The increased focus on nonpoint sources of pollution has heightened
interest in the identification and control of sources of sediment from all land
use activities. In Pennsylvania and throughout the Great Lakes basin, commercially
valuable forests are prevalent and forest harvesting activities are common.
In order to gain access to many logging sites, haul roads and skid trail networks
must often be located across headwater streams and associated riparian wetlands.
The common methods for crossing headwater streams include culverts with various
types of fill, permanent or portable bridges and fords. Unfortunately, stream
crossings, road construction, and related disturbances often result in high
erosion rates especially when best management practices are not followed.
This project describes and promotes proper methods for crossing small headwater
streams during logging operations to reduce erosion and impacts from sedimentation.
A video presenting recently completed research at the Pennsylvania State University
was prepared to increase awareness of the erosion and sedimentation problems
within the Great Lakes basin by demonstrating to forestry professionals the
relationship between logging practices and water quality. The video analyzes
the results from several recent studies and synthesizes the information so landowners,
government officials, and foresters may use it to help reduce erosion and sedimentation
caused by logging activities. The video is being used as a vehicle to strengthen
coalitions, coordinate efforts, and facilitate information transfer between
federal, regional, state, and local conservation groups.
An 18 minute video titled Stream Crossings During Forest Harvesting Activities
in the Great Lakes Basin was produced to educate forestry professionals, landowners,
and the general public on proper methods of crossing streams during forest harvesting
activities to minimize erosion and sedimentation.
Copies of the video have been distributed to the Cooperative Extension Water
Quality Coordinator and Natural Resources Department in each of the eight Great
Lakes states. An additional 60 copies of this video have been distributed to
forestry professionals, Cooperative Extension offices, and state forestry departments
throughout the Great Lakes region.
Contact: Bryan R. Swistock, (814) 863-0291