Forestry BMP Implementation in Great Lakes Basin
Indiana Department of Natural Resources -- Division of Forestry
Basin Program Funds:
Forestland in Indiana is subject to timber harvesting, which often results in significant soil erosion and sedimentation if best management practices (BMPs) are not followed. There is a lack of awareness and understanding of the importance of these BMPs, particularly by landowners. Approximately 87 percent of the timberland in Indiana is in private ownership.
According to a 1975 report on Logging Roads and Protection of Water Quality, published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sediment was identified as the most significant pollutant resulting from timber harvesting and that logging roads were the primary source. The Federal Clean Water Act of 1987 prompted states to develop BMP guidelines to control silvicultural caused non point source pollution. This project sought to raise awareness and implement and monitoring BMPs on critical areas of forests - wetlands, stream crossings, logging roads and trails.
A BMP Field Guide was developed in 1996 through a cooperative one and a half year effort of forest products, industry professionals, and forestry, environmental, university and regulatory agency interests. The guide was compiled by the Forest Practices Working Group, organized by the Indiana Woodland Steward Institute through a grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The guide was edited by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and published by the Indiana Division of Forestry.
Project staff held two workshops on BMP implementation for landowners, loggers, timber buyers, professional foresters and forest managers. Division of Forestry personnel instructed the participants about the various types of BMPs, their application, and the evaluation of harvest sites for BMP application. Personnel had previously identified harvest sites to be monitored and obtained permission from landowners. During the workshops, they divided the participants into teams and assigned each team a set of sites to monitor for BMP application and compliance. A total of 23 sites, ranging from 8 to 150 acres and with a timber harvest in the previous two years, were evaluated for the implementation of BMPs on 1) forest access roads, 2) log landings, 3) skid trails, 4) stream crossings, and 5) riparian management zones.
In addition to workshops, project staff developed a cost-share program as an incentive for loggers and producers to adopt and institutionalize BMPs. They marketed the cost-share program to loggers in the Great Lakes basin by sending a letter from Indiana’s State Forester to logging professionals within the affected area, and through notices in Indiana’s Licensed Timber Buyers Guide and Indiana’s Hardwood Lumberman’s Association newsletter.
A summary of tasks completed on this project include: continued efforts to market both the cost-share program for implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) and cost-free training opportunities on the application of effective BMPs.; utilizing various media to market the programs mentioned above, specifically those media with the forest products industry as the target audience; utilizing word of mouth marketing techniques during visits to the primary forest products industry facilities; and presented information about the BMP cost-share program and free BMP training opportunities at two forest industry related meetings held in northern Indian in May of 2002.
Efforts continued through a variety of avenues to market the cost-share program and opportunities for cost-free BMP training. These efforts included personal visits to primary wood using industry in the target counties, information was put into the Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association (IHLA) newsletter (600 members), and the Indiana Licensed Timber Buyer’s monthly bulletin (over 700 recipients) for the past eight months. The project also developed a letter detailing information about the BMP cost-share program and free BMP training for professional loggers/foresters. This letter was sent to a prominent private consulting forester who used the letter for informational purposes to prospective professional loggers.
Contact: Jeff Settle, 812-358-2160