Hydrologie impacts of logging an appalachian watershed using west virginia's best management practices

James N. Kochenderfer, Pamela J. Edwards, Frederica Wood

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59 Scopus citations


A 39 lia ganged watershed located in north-central West Virginia near Parsons was cut to a 35.5 cm stump diameter and logged using wheeled skiddcrs to evaluate the effectiveness of West Virginia's Best Management Practices (BMPs). Roads initially occupied 10.6% of the watershed, but this percentage is decreasing as much of the original road prism reverts to forest. Reducing basal area by 44% in stems 2.54 cm dbh and larger had a negligible effect on maximum growing season stream temperatures, apparently because the stream remained shaded by residual trees and understory shrubs growing along it. Both growing season peakflows and total storinflow had small but significant increases due to treatment.Dormant season stonnflows did not increase significantly. Although mean monthly exports of suspended sediment doubled the first year when the area was being logged, they remained within the range reported for carefully managed areas in the East. Sediment exports returned to pretreatment levels by the thirdposttreatment year. Long-term projections of current exports rates indicate that sediment exports from harvesting operations (3 entries) during a 100 yr rotation will account for less than 5% of the total sediment exported from the study watershed. Nitrate exports increased significantly during most of the monitored posttreatment years, but fertilizer applied to the roads during grass seeding is believed to have contributed to these increases. Actual concentration values remained low, with maximum concentrations well below standards for potable water. Calcium concentrations also increased during most years, but road liming during seeding probably was responsible for most of this increase. The BMPs used in this study were effective in minimizing adverse impacts to soil and water resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalNorthern Journal of Applied Forestry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • General Materials Science
  • Plant Science


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