Forestry Best Management Practices for Clean Water
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:$250,000
Source:Clean Water Fund
Start Date:July 2013
End Date:June 2015
Activity Type:Technical Assistance, Research
Counties Affected:Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Cass, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Lake, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, St. Louis
Project OverviewMinnesota DNR and Minnesota Forest Resources Council work with forest landowners, managers and loggers to implement a set of voluntary sustainable forest management guidelines that include water quality best management practices (BMPs) to ensure sustainable habitat, clean water, and productive forest soils, all contributing to healthy watersheds. This project will monitor the implementation of these forest management guidelines and BMPs on forested watersheds in MN. Additionally, this project will identify timber harvest frequency and distribution as well as significant change to forest area including conversion of forests to other land uses, large fires, and blowdown events. An evaluation of the guideline implementation rates, watershed characteristics, and the frequency and distribution of forest change will be used to identify risks to water quality as well as strategies to reduce these risks, with the goal of maintaining high quality forested watersheds in MN. Outreach programs will be developed for forest landowners, managers and loggers throughout the target watersheds aimed at mitigating these risks such as improved implementation of specific BMPs.
About the Issue
Forested watersheds in MN generally produce an abundance of high quality water. Much of our forested landscape is managed as productive forest land providing timber products as well recreational opportunities and abundant wildlife. Sustainable timber harvesting in combination with application of voluntary water quality BMP’s has helped to maintain water quality in Minnesota’s managed forest lands. However, risks to water quality in these landscapes still remain, with rates of BMP implementation, harvesting patterns, and watershed characteristics influencing the potential for impacts to occur at any given time or place. Also, recent trends in forestland development and loss in Minnesota has increased the risk of impacts to water quality in forested landscapes. Evaluation of BMP implementation and quantification of risk factors by watershed, combined with effective outreach programs, will allow for continued utilization of working forests while maintaining functioning, healthy watersheds that produce clean water.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
3296 State Park Road NE