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

Stabilizing roads and trails

This web article explains how forest workers and landowners can close down forests roads and skid trails after a timber harvest to control erosion.

Road closure
Forest roads and skid trails that are no longer useful, or part of the landowner's objectives, should be closed. This reduces maintenance costs and helps the forest revert to a more stable form.

— Remove temporary water control structures (culverts, small bridges) and install water bars and / or broad-based dips to moderate the flow of water on the road.

— Look for cut and fill areas that have the potential to wash away with heavy rains or snowmelt.

— Clear away stream crossings and restore original stream contours.

— Seed and mulch soil that becomes disturbed during the closure process.

— If the road will be used periodically through the year, inspect the surface and culverts to make sure they are stable and operating properly.

— Where vehicular access could pose a problem for the landowner or forest, place a gate or other barrier at the entrance to the road. Some forest owners dig pits and build mounds to deter trespassing. Make sure the barrier can not be avoided by driving around or entering from another point.

Landowners, foresters, and loggers are all responsible for ensuring logging activities do not cause environmental harm to streams and lake waters.

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