Potential effects of forestry operations and associated best management practices on riparian wildlife species in the southeastern United StatesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is considering the addition of 374 riparian and aquatic species in the southeastern United States to the federal Threated and Endangered Species List. This recommendation is a result of a 2011 petition, which recognized forest operations as having negative effects on 51 percent of the listed species, citing research conducted in the absence of Best Management Practices (BMPs) (Federal Register 76(187):59836-59862). We conducted a literature review to evaluate how BMPs might benefit these species, but found that information specific to these riparian species and forest operations was generally limited. Available literature pertaining to BMP effects and these riparian species generally contained broader conclusions, which were often conducted at higher taxonomic levels. We were able to develop some broad interpretations that support the benefits of BMP implementation to many of these species. Our review indicated that BMPs (i.e., streamside management zones) can limit sediment and nutrient inputs, reduce thermal pollution, enhance water quality, and safeguard riparian ecosystems to a degree that should provide some level of protection for most of the investigated species. Stream crossing BMPs and stream crossing designs should be beneficial by restricting sediment input and by minimizing potentially negative changes to stream channel hydrology. Our findings generally support the need for additional research regarding the specific effects of BMPs on stream and riparian biota.
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