South Carolina's Best Management Practices
You can help protect the environment by using water quality guidelines during all forestry operations. The guidelines, called Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Forestry, help reduce impacts from timber harvesting, site preparation, prescribed burning, and other activities. BMPs are a part of good forest stewardship.
What You Can Do
- Ensure that your written contract requires compliance with BMPs.
- Choose a logger or contractor who has completed the SC Forestry Association’s Timber Operations Professional program and is fully trained in proper application of BMPs.
- Request a BMP Courtesy Exam. Your local SC Forestry Commission BMP Forester can provide free services to make sure your operation is in compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
- Inform your neighbors and fellow forest landowners about the importance of forestry BMPs.
What Are BMPs?
BMPs are scientifically based guidelines for protecting water quality and maintaining site productivity. Proper use of BMPs will prevent erosion, sedimentation, and soil compaction. Although non-regulatory, BMPs can also prevent violations of the US Clean Water Act, SC Pollution Control Act, and other laws and regulations that apply to forestry operations.
Some general examples of BMPs include:
- Maintain a forested primary Streamside Management Zone (SMZ) 40’wide on both sides of perennial streams, lakes, and ponds. The SMZ acts as a filter, provides shade, and maintains bank stability. Trout waters and steep slopes may require larger SMZs.
- Never block the flow of a stream. Use appropriately sized culverts or temporary bridges to allow water flow. Completely remove and stabilize temporary crossings when the operation is complete.
- Minimize soil disturbance, especially on steep slopes. Areas with high erosion potential should be stabilized with water bars, broad-based dips, vegetation, or other methods.
Request a BMP Courtesy Exam
Excellent Record of BMP Compliance in SC
SCFC conducts regular monitoring or BMP implementation and compliance to ensure effectiveness and seek further improvement in the program. Currently, 98.6% of timber harvests in SC are in compliance with BMPs.
Training and education programs are an important part of promoting BMPs. SCFC provides BMP training for landowners, loggers, foresters, and other forestry professionals, and cooperates with SC Forestry Association and Clemson University in the Timber Operations Professional (TOP) Program. For more information, check the Forestry Association of South Carolina website, which includes a calendar of upcoming training opportunities.
SC BMPs for Forestry
- Best Management Practices Manual (BMPs)
- Best Management Practices for Braided Stream Systems: A Supplement to the 1994 BMP Manual
- Best Management Practices: Forest Biomass Harvesting Recommendations
Compliance and Implementation Monitoring Reports
- 2019-20 BMP Monitoring Report
- 2015-16 BMP Monitoring Report
- 2011-12 BMP Monitoring Report
- 2007-08 BMP Monitoring Report
- 2004-05 Monitoring Report
- 2001-03 Monitoring Report
- 1997-99 Monitoring Report
- 1996 Monitoring Report
- 1994 Monitoring Report
Forest Biomass Harvesting and Site Productivity Workshop Presentations - September 26, 2012
Growing interest in renewable energy creates the potential for woody biomass to emerge as a new market for South Carolina landowners. Biomass harvesting may result in greater removal of woody material than traditional harvesting methods, and may require additional attention to minimize impacts. This workshop will provide the latest information on forest site productivity and soil nutrition, soil factors affecting forest management, and Best Management Practices to maintain water quality, site productivity, and wildlife habitat during biomass harvesting.
The presentations from this workshop are below:
- 1. Site Productivity Concepts - Dr. Lee Allen
- 2. Forest Biomass Soils - Dr. Pam Thomas
- 3. Biomass Harvesting Impacts - Dr. Lee Allen
- 4. Forest Biomass BMPs - Guy Sabin
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