Sediment movement from forest road systems-roads: a major contributor to erosion and stream sedimentation
Nonpoint source pollution is a major concern related to natural resource management throughout the United States. Undisturbed forest lands typically have minimal erosion, less than 0.13 ton/acre (0.30 ton/hectare), due to the increased cover and surface roughness found in these areas. However, disturbances caused by forest management practices can result in accelerated erosion losses and stream sedimentation. Forest management activities were identified by the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1977 as source activities for nonpoint source pollution. Soil erosion and sedimentation resulting from forest operations remain a concern in forest management. Activities with the potential to have detrimental impacts on water quality due to soil erosion and sediment delivery to stream systems are road activities, harvesting, site preparation, fertilization and fire management.