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Temporary In-Stream Crossing

Temporary in-stream crossing

Waterway protection Temporary in-stream crossing

Sometimes crossing a waterway is needed for activities that are undertaken on forested land to establish, maintain or enhance a forest.

Forest management activities – temporary waterway crossings general permit

Activities on forested land for forest enhancement or maintenance includes planting trees, thinning and trimming trees, and harvesting timber and other forest products (for salvage or otherwise).

» General permit to place, construct and maintain temporary waterway crossings for forest management activities [PDF]

If the purpose of the temporary crossing is to access an area for these activities, a permit is needed. Please use the following information to determine which type of permit is best for you.

Determine permit required

This is a text version of our Temporary in-stream crossing interactive question and answer module. If you are seeing this message, you currently have JavaScript disabled or are in compatibility mode while using Internet Explorer. This text version is here to help you understand if you need a permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for your Temporary In-Stream Crossing project, and if so, which one. Please go through and answer each question. This will help you determine which permit you will need.

Question 1 :

What do you want to do?

If your answer is "Build a temporary crossing,” go to Question 2.

Question 2 :

Will your temporary crossing be used to access an area for forest management activities?

If your answer is "yes,” go to Question 3.

If your answer is “no,”  you have a few options:

You've answered No. You have a few options:

  1. Visit Bridges and choose "Build a new bridge" to determine if you are eligible for a clear span bridge general permit.
  2. Visit Fords to determine if your project meets the standards of crossing a waterway using this method.
  3. To apply for an individual permit, please visit the individual permits page.*Please note: WAMS ID and password needed to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one prior to proceeding.
  4. Please be aware there may be additional permit standards you must meet. Prior to applying for a permit please review the Permit Application Checklist [PDF].

As always before starting any project please make sure that there are no federal or local regulations that prohibit the construction of a bridge in your location.

You've answered I don't know.

If your answer is “I don't know” :

  • Forest management activities are activities that are taken on forested land to establish, maintain or enhance a forest including planting trees, thinning and trimming trees, and harvesting timber and other forest products.
  • If the purpose of the temporary bridge is to access an area for these activities, go back to the previous question and choose “Yes.”

As always before starting any project please make sure that there are no federal or local regulations that prohibit the construction of a bridge in your location.

Question 3 :

Will the temporary crossing span a navigable stream that is less than 10 feet wide?

  • If your answer is "yes,” go to Question 4.
  • If your answer is “no,” for a temporary crossing over a navigable waterway that spans more that 10 feet you have a few options:

You've answered No. For a temporary crossing over a navigable waterway that spans more that 10 feet you have a few options:

  1. Visit Bridges and choose "Build a new bridge" to determine if you are eligible for a clear span bridge general permit.
  2. Visit Fords to determine if your project meets the standards of crossing a waterway using this method.
  3. To apply for an individual permit, please visit the individual permits page.*Please note: WAMS ID and password needed to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one prior to proceeding.
  4. Please be aware there may be additional permit standards you must meet. Prior to applying for a permit please review the Permit Application Checklist [PDF].

As always before starting any project please make sure that there are no federal or local regulations that prohibit the construction of a bridge in your location.

You've answered I don't know.

If your answer is “I don't know”:

To determine the width of the waterway, measure from the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) on one bank to the Ordinary High Water Mark on the other bank. This diagram illustration shows how to measure the width of the waterway.
In-stream Crossing Diagram

Question 4 :

Will the temporary crossing be located on a wild river (as designated by Wis Stats 30.26 and NR 302)?

You've answered Yes.

If your answer is “Yes,”:

  • A temporary crossing over a navigable waterway that is on a wild river requires an individual permit. To apply for an individual permit, please visit the Individual permits page.*Please note: WAMS ID and password needed to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one prior to proceeding.
  • Please be aware there may be additional permit standards you must meet. Prior to applying for a permit please review the Permit Application Checklist [PDF].

As always before starting any project please make sure that there are no federal or local regulations that prohibit the construction of a bridge in your location.

You've answered No.

If your answer is “No,”:

  • Based on your answer, you are eligible for a general permit to place a temporary in-stream crossing.
  • To apply for an General Permit. Please visit the General permits page.*Please note: WAMS ID and password needed to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one prior to proceeding.
  • Please be aware there may be additional permit standards you must meet. Prior to applying for a permit please review the Permit Application Checklist [PDF].

Please be aware there may be additional general permit standards you must meet while placing your temporary crossing. For example:

  1. On trout streams identified under s. NR 1.02 (7) and navigable tributaries to those trout streams, the temporary crossing must include a culvert with a minimum diameter of 12 inches.
  2. The temporary in-stream crossing shall be removed after the forest management activity is completed or after being installed for 160 days, whichever occurs first.

As always before starting any project please make sure that there are no federal or local regulations that prohibit the construction of a bridge in your location.

You've answered I don't know.

If your answer is “I don't know,”:

  • Please use our Surface Water Data Viewer - Designated Waters to find your location and to determine what the water body designation is for the water body where your project is located. Once you know this information you may return to the previous question and answer it to continue. (If you are unsure about using the Designated Waters Search tool visit our tutorial to learn how.)

Exemptions

  • There are no exemptions for temporary in-stream crossings.

Laws

Applicable statutes and codes include Section 30.123, Wis. Stats. [PDF exit DNR] and Chapter NR 320 [PDF exit DNR].

Local permits and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations may also apply. We advise you to contact your local zoning office and your regional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office [exit DNR].

Sample drawings and other materials

Last revised: Thursday October 20 2016