Overview of best management practices related to forest roads: The southern states
Forest roads are vital in the implementation of most all forest management activities. However, the potential of forest roads to have accelerated erosion losses and degrade water quality through stream sedimentation has long been recognized throughout the U.S. Forest roads have the potential to cause serious environmental impacts (possibly consequences) without effective scientifically based best management practices (BMPs). BMP programs for 13 Southern States were reviewed to determine the nature and extent of BMPs related to forest roads. State BMPs ranged from aggressive regulatory performance-based standards to passive voluntary prescription-based standards. Most states in the review have voluntary BMP guidelines promoting sound land stewardship. Kentucky's BMP program, regulatory in nature, is the most aggressive BMP program supported by a Forest Conservation Act enacted in 1998. Aside from differences in legislation supporting BMPs, forest road BMPs were consistent throughout the South.