Streamside Management Zones
Forest Road Construction
Endangered Species Act
Additional Management Options: Wildlife Management
BMP Manual (pdf)
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An effort has been made to italicize technical words or phrases and clearly define them in the glossary.
South Carolina's Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) give forest landowners and the professional forestry community guidelines to follow in practicing good stewardship on our valuable forestland. Good stewardship during forestry activities will protect the water quality of nearby streams, lakes, or ponds. Most of the BMPs in this manual address the protection of water quality or the requirements of Section 404 (dredge and fill) of the Clean Water Act. The BMPs in this manual have been designed to be consistent with the management measures as described in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publication entitled Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of Non-Point Pollution in Coastal Waters, January 1993. All forestry practices must comply with the Endangered Species Act . Additional BMPs are included as recommendations to landowners to conserve site productivity, depending on the landowner's goals. BMPs are not to be construed as required under any laws pertaining to water quality on sites where there is no risk of off-site impact. Additional management options are included where wildlife is a primary concern of the landowner.
The concept of BMPs was first introduced in response to federal legislation, the Clean Water Act, as a practical and effective means to reduce nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. Compliance with BMPs is required for forestry activities which involve discharge of dredge or fill materials into jurisdictional wetlands to qualify for the silvicultural exemption under Section 404 (f ) of the Clean Water Act. Compliance with BMPs is recommended on all sites on which there is a potential for violating water quality criteria as defined by the South Carolina Pollution Control Act.
The South Carolina Forestry Commission is the lead agency in South Carolina in designing, interpreting, monitoring, and updating forestry BMPs. Questions pertaining to interpretations of this manual should be directed to the S.C. Forestry Commission. Certain landform features may require variances from specified BMPs to better protect the environment. Variances can only be granted by the S.C. Forestry Commission. Future BMP manual revisions will be based on scientific research, monitoring results, and technological improvements.
BMPs related to water quality should be viewed as standards which may require adjustment based on specific site conditions and ownership boundaries. For example, natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or wildfires create extreme conditions for which BMPs are not designed. The responsibility of adjusting BMPs may rest on either the landowner or the operator depending upon contract terms. Because of the technical nature of these guidelines, landowners are encouraged to make use of a licensed forester or other qualified professionals as needed.
The South Carolina Forestry Commission gratefully acknowledges the assistance and cooperation of the South carolina Forestry Association and the Association's Best Management Practices Task Force in the development of this publication. Special acknowledgement goes to the BMP Development Committee representing the Forestry Commission, Clemson University, Industry, and the U.S. Forest Service for technical input.