South Carolina Forestry Commission
Best Management Practices

BMP Graphic


A-C /D-F /G-J / L-M /N-P /Q-S / T-Z

Apron of rip-rap - A layer of rock used for stabilizing soil that is subject to erosion.

Artificial regeneration - The establishment of a forest by planting seedlings or by seeding an area.

Basal area - A measure of the cross-sectional area taken up by trees at 4.5 feet above ground level.

Bedding - A site preparation technique, usually in wet areas, whereby a small ridge of soil is formed as an elevated planting or seedbed.

Best Management Practices (BMPs) - Forest management practices, developed pursuant to federal water quality legislation, to minimize or prevent nonpoint source water pollution. Often in more general usage referring to any good forest stewardship practices.

Black river bottom - The floodplain of a major water system originating in the coastal plain.

Bladed skid trail - A path most frequently traveled by harvesting equipment, normally leading to a landing for processing, that has been intentionally cleared down to the soil layer by a machine.

Borrow pit - An area that has been excavated for earthen material .

Broad-based dip - A surface drainage structure designed to convey surface runoff off of a road while allowing vehicles to maintain normal speeds.

Buffer strip - A relatively undisturbed section of forest adjacent to an area requiring special attention or protection such as a stream, lake, or road.

Carolina Bay - An elliptical depression with a northwest-southeast longitudinal axis usually surrounded by a sandy, convex rim.

Channel - A natural stream which conveys surface runoff water within well-defined banks.

Chemical site preparation - The use of herbicides to control plant competition to prepare an area for the establishment of a future forest either by artificial or natural means.

Chopping - The flattening of vegetation remaining after harvest in order to concentrate it near the ground.

Clearcutting - The total removal of a merchantable tree crop from an area.

Contour - An imaginary line on the land surface that is at a constant elevation.

Culvert - A metal, concrete, or plastic pipe through which water is carried.

Designated trout waters - Water bodies specifically conducive to trout as designated by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Directional felling - Felling trees so that they fall in a predetermined direction which will cause the least damage to the site.

Disking - Tilling soil to reduce competing vegetation.

Drainage structure - A man-made structure that facilitates the move ment of water off an area.

Dredge material - Material unearthed when a ditch is excavated.

Drought index - A measure of soil or vegetation dryness.

Duff - The partially decayed organic matter on the forest floor.

Edge - An area where two or more vegetation types converge.

Ephemeral stream - A watercourse generally without a well-defined channel which flows only in response to rainfall or snowmelt. Ephemeral streams flow for less than 20% of the year during normal rainfall conditions.

Erosion - The detachment and transportation of soil particles.

Excessive rutting - The determination of excessive rutting is highly subjective and must be made by a licensed forester or other qualified professional experienced in local logging operations, soil types, and site conditions (see definition of licensed forester and qualified professional). The determination must consider rutting extent and depth, soil type, slope, position on slope, management prescription, and any other pertinent factors.

Filter strip - A vegetated area of land separating a water body from forest management activities.

Flatwoods - Areas in the coastal plain that lie in broad interstream divides where natural drainage systems are poorly developed.

Flood attenuation - Forest management activities that lessen the severity of potential flooding.

Ford - A natural or paved stream crossing suitable for shallow streams with stable bottoms.

Forest practice - An activity related to the growing, protecting, harvesting, or processing of forest tree species.

Fuel break - An area cleared of vegetation to remove the fuel sources from a fire.

Grade - The slope of a road, usually expressed as a percent.

Gully - An eroded channel (generally at least 12 inches deep) which has deepened to the point that it cannot be removed by tillage.

Harvesting - The removal of merchantable tree crops from an area.

Headwater swamp - An area of potentially saturated land at the source of a flowing water body.

Herbicide - Any chemical or mixture of chemicals intended to prevent the growth of or promote the removal of targeted trees, bushes, and/or herbaceous vegetation.

High flotation equipment - Machinery that exerts low ground pressure.

Humus layer - The organic layer of the soil formed by the decay of organic matter.

Intermittent stream - A watercourse that flows in a well-defined channel for 20 - 90% of the year during normal rainfall conditions.

Jurisdictional wetlands - Areas subject to the regulations of the Clean Water Act of 1977; generally concave or low-lying topographic forms that collect, store, or flow water frequently enough to favor a majority of plants that are adapted to saturated soil conditions.

Licensed forester - A person who is registered and qualified to engage in professional forestry practices as determined by the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Foresters.

Litter - The uppermost, slightly decayed layer of organic matter on the forest floor.

Log deck - A place where logs or tree-length material is processed for loading and transporting.

Logging debris - The unutilized and generally unmarketable accumu lation of woody material, such as limbs, tops, and stumps, that remains after timber removal.

Low impact harvesting system - A system of logging equipment that has minimal residual impact on an area or the land.

Mast-producing tree - A tree that produces nuts, such as oak or walnut.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) - The basic hazard communication tool that gives details on chemical and physical dangers, safety procedures, and emergency responses for chemicals.

Mechanical site preparation - The cutting of all standing material with blades or choppers to prepare an area for the establishment of a future forest either by artificial or natural means. Other practices include disking, bedding, and raking.

Mineral soil - The inorganic layer of earth composed of sand, silt, and clay, in varying amounts, with less than 20 percent organic matter in the surface layer.

Muck swamp - A very poorly drained area, usually with standing water, characterized by heavy organic matter accumulation.

Mulching - Covering an area loosely with some material to hold soil in place and facilitate revegetation. Straw and bark are common mulches.

Natural channel - A watercourse created by the erosive forces of water moving over land. Drainage ditches are not considered natural channels.

Natural drain - A naturally occurring conduit for the flow of water.

Natural regeneration - The planned regeneration of a forest that either uses existing trees as a source of seed or encourages sprouting from stumps or roots.

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution - Pollution which is (1) induced by natural processes, including precipitation, seepage, percolation, and runoff; (2) not traceable to any discrete or identifiable facility; and (3) controllable through the utilization of wise management practices.

Outsloped roadbed - A roadbed along a hill constructed so that water will flow across the road toward its downhill side.

Patch clearcut - A tree regeneration method whereby all of the merchantable trees in a relatively small area are removed.

Peat swamp - A poorly drained area with heavy accumulations of raw organic matter, resembling muck swamps but in general heavier and of better site quality.

Perennial stream - A watercourse that flows continuously (at least 90% of the year) in a well-defined channel.

Permanent main access road (MA) - A road normally constructed on a ridge or higher ground that tends to parallel the general flow of water, except when it crosses from one drainage system to another.

Pesticide - Any chemical substance that is used to control undesirable insects, diseases, vegetation, animals, or other forms of life.

Prescribed burning - The controlled use of fire to reduce or eliminate the unincorporated organic matter of the forest floor, or low, undesirable vegetation.

Primary skid trail - The path most frequently traveled by harvesting equipment, normally leading to a landing for processing.

Qualified professional - A person whose training and experience qualifies him/her to make forestry and water quality recommenda tions. Examples of qualified professionals include: hydrologists, soil scientists, forest engineers, or technically trained individuals functioning under the direct supervision of a qualified professional.

Regeneration - Renewal of a forest by either natural or artificial means.

Restricted use pesticides (RUP) - Pesticides that are to be applied only by certified persons for specific uses.

Rotation - The planned number of years between the establishment of a crop of trees and its final cutting at a specified stage of maturity.

Rutting - Tracks in the soil resulting from the passage of heavy equipment.

Sediment - Eroded soil particles that are deposited downhill or downstream by surface runoff.

Seep - A place where groundwater flows slowly to the surface and often forms a pool; a small spring.

Sensitive site - An area that may have the following traits: highly erosive soils, steep slopes, excessively wet soils, connected aquatic systems, endangered species habitat, or other unique traits.

Shearing - The cutting of merchantable residual trees and stumps close to the ground after harvest.

Shelterwood harvest - A method for regenerating a site that involves the gradual removal of the residual stand in a series of partial cuts. A fundamental characteristic of the shelterwood method is the establishment of a new forest stand before complete removal of the parent stand.

Silviculture - The science and art of cultivating forests based on the knowledge of the life history and general characteristics of forest trees; the principles, theories, and practices for protecting and enhancing the establishment, growth, development, and utilization of forests for multiple benefits.

Single-tree selection - A regeneration method adapted for shade tolerant species whereby each small even-aged component of an uneven-aged stand occupies the space created by the removal of a single mature individual or small clumps of several such trees.

Site productivity - An expression of an area's natural fertility or capacity to grow vegetation, especially trees.

Site preparation - A forest activity to remove unwanted vegetation and other material to cultivate or prepare the soil for reforestation.

Skid trail - A temporary, non-structural pathway over forest soil for dragging felled trees or logs to a landing for processing.

Skidding - Moving logs or felled trees from the stump to a landing, usually with the forward end supported off the ground.

Snag - A standing dead tree from which the leaves and most of the branches have fallen.

Streamside management zone (SMZ) - An area adjacent to the bank of a stream or body of open water where extra precaution is necessary to carry out forest practices in order to protect bank edges and water quality.

Temporary limited use road (LU) - A road constructed into an area to gain access for a specific operation such as harvesting that will be abandoned and allowed to revert to natural vegetation once the operation is complete.

Toe of the fill - The base of the fill surrounding a culvert, etc.

Transpiration - The vaporization of water from the living cells of plant tissues.

Water bar - A mound or ridge of soil formed across a road or trail for the purpose of deflecting water onto the adjacent area, usually into the forest litter.

Water yield - A drainage basin's total yield of liquid water during some period of time.

Water turnout - The extension of an access road's drainage ditch into a vegetated area to provide dispersion and filtration of stormwater runoff.

Watershed - All land and water within the confines of a drainage basin.

Windrow - Logging debris and unmerchantable woody vegetation that has been piled in rows.

Wing ditches - Drainage structures that divert water flow from along a downward-sloping roadside, dispersing the water into a vegetated area to minimize erosion.

Streamside Management Zones / Forest Road Construction / Timber Harvesting / Site Preparation / Reforestation / Prescribed Burning / Pesticides / Fertilization / Minor Drainage / Endangered Species Act / Additional Management Options: Wildlife Management / Stream Crossings

Forest Management/ Reference Resources / Environmental Forestry/ Braided Stream Systems