Eroded forest road due to poor planning
Best Management Practices After the Timber Harvest


This web site lists the many different techniques forest workers and landowners should be using to control erosion after a timber harvest.

The key concept in preventing forest soil erosion after logging is to contain small amounts of water over short distances. Forest soil should be made stable and the site should be "put to rest," not just abandoned.

Landowners, foresters, and loggers are all partly responsible for ensuring logging activities do not cause environmental harm to streams and lake waters. The principle of controlling forest soil erosion remains the same: handle small amounts of water over short distances.

Efforts made to stabilize forest soils after the harvest will help encourage regeneration, attract wildlife, and prevent pollution of area streams. Though it is impossible to return the forest to a pristine condition, most forest functions can be substantially restored, or even improved over pre-harvest conditions. This is good forest management and should be occurring in all woodlots in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

For cost-conscious landowners and loggers, it is always more economical to prevent erosion, rather than fix areas damaged by erosion.

The major areas of concern after a timber sale are:


Seeding and mulching

Water bars

Debris cleanup

Restricting access

Road/trail stabilization

Each of these components has their own best management practices. Click on each to learn about which best management practices apply.

Other tips following timber harvests

Road photo by James Kochenderfer
Home | Index | Tools for Planning a Harvest | Cornell Cooperative Extension ForestryCornell Cooperative Extension helps forest owners

Please cite source: Cornell Cooperative Extension, 2004
Written by James Ochterski, CCE - Schuyler County