Soil erosion from harvested sites versus streamside management zone sediment deposition in the Piedmont of VirginiaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Forestry best management practices were primarily developed to address two major issues related to soil erosion: water quality and site productivity. Sixteen watersheds managed as loblolly pine plantations in the piedmont region were monitored for soil erosion and water quality prior to treatment. Subsequently, all watersheds were harvested with clearcutting, ground-based skidding, prescribed burning, and installation of fire lines. Four blocks were established on the basis of geology, soils, topography, vegetation, and management. Within each block, 5 SMZ treatments (25-feet-wide, 50-feet-wide with and without partial harvest, and 100-feet-wide with and without partial harvest) were installed. On-site erosion was estimated for the watershed and within each major disturbance category (harvest, skid trails, fire lines) and contrasted with the quantity of sediment trapped by the various SMZ treatments.