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MONITORING SHOWS FORESTRY OPERATIONS CONTINUE TO PROTECT WISCONSIN'S WATER QUALITY

August 4, 2015

SPOONER, Wis. - Foresters and loggers are harvesting timber in Wisconsin following procedures that provide a high rate of water quality protection, according to monitoring the Department of Natural Resources conducted of timber harvest practices in 2013 and 2014.

The 2013 monitoring program conducted site reviews on Wisconsin state lands and county forests, while the 2014 monitoring was conducted on federal and privately held large landholdings in Wisconsin.

"In the fall of 2013, monitoring teams visited 75 state and county timber sales and found Forestry Best Management Practices were correctly applied on over 97 percent of state sales and 95 percent on county forests," said Dave Kafura, DNR forest hydrologist. "In 2014 monitoring teams visited 58 federal and large landholder timber sales and found that BMPs were correctly applied on over 96 percent of on federal sales and over 94 percent on large landholder sites."

Forestry Best Management Practices, or BMPs, are steps taken by landowners, foresters and loggers to minimize potential impacts to water quality during forestry-related activities. Nonpoint source water pollution occurs when runoff from rain and snow melt moves across the ground, collecting sediment and nutrients and transporting the pollutants to lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands.

During timber harvest activities, use of skid trails and forest roads near lakes, streams, and wetlands have the potential to contribute to water quality degradation. Kafura said Wisconsin's Forestry BMPs provide practical, cost-effective approaches that are for water quality protection to landowners, loggers and foresters in planning and conducting forestry operations.

"The 2013 and 2014 results show the highest application rate of BMPs since the monitoring process was initiated in 1995. Water quality protections are effective over 99 percent of the time when BMPs are correctly applied," Kafura said.

"Healthy forests and clean water go hand in hand. These results show the continued efforts by landowners, loggers and foresters to implement the non-regulatory BMP Program. The commitment to protecting Wisconsin's waterways and wetlands while managing and harvesting Wisconsin's most valuable renewable resource is clearly evident" said Paul DeLong, Chief State Forester for Wisconsin DNR.

Copies of the Wisconsin's Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality 2013 (PUB-FR-555 2015 [PDF]) and 2014 (PUB-FR-554 2015 [PDF]) BMP Monitoring Report are available by searching the DNR website dnr.wi.gov,for "forestry best management practices."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dave Kafura, DNR Forest Hydrologist, 715-635-4080

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 04, 2015




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