Forest Road Building Workshops

Grantee: Forest Industry Safety and Training Alliance
Basin Program Funds: $4,875
Non-federal Funds: $2,481
Project Duration: 07/1999 - 06/2000
Status: complete

Problem Statement
Although forest management does not produce the extent of non-point source pollution problems that agriculture does in Wisconsin, if best management practices are not followed in localized areas, improperly constructed or misplaced roads cause non-point source pollution problems

Improperly constructed or misplaced roads and roads that are not properly "put to rest" after logging operations are completed, cause non-point source pollution problems, especially in many of the terrain and soil types that are associated with drainage systems that empty into Lake Superior. Without the proper knowledge of how to construct cost-efficient and water resource friendly roads, roads currently being constructed will need rebuilding and constant maintenance and water resources will suffer from the effects of non-point source pollution.

The Forest Industry and Trade Alliance (FISTA) worked with six different forest industry companies to advertise and promote four training workshops and to identify field sites that demonstrated good or poor road building techniques for use at the workshop. FISTA staff and other instructors conducted workshops that included two to three hours of classroom instruction and five to six hours of in-the-woods instruction and discussion. Instructors included: resource conservationists and soil scientists from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS); water hydrologists and foresters from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR); foresters and road builders from the forest industry; and consulting foresters. Field sites included old roads, new roads, and roads under construction with a variety of issues and problems. FISTA gave participants a handbook and handouts on various aspects of road building.

A total of 83 equipment operators, logging contractors and foresters attended one of four workshops where they learned about tools such as topographic maps, aerial photos, soil surveys, and clinometers, and resource agents such as the NRCS, DNR hydrologists and consulting foresters of which many were previously unaware. The interaction of loggers, road builders and foresters helped each group better understand the unique challenges the other groups faced. Project staff estimate 200 additional loggers, foresters, and road builders will be reached beyond the grant period.

Contact: Forest Industry Safety and Training Alliance, (715) 282-4979


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