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Summarized Comments and Author Responses: AQUA-5

Comment no. 103:

Section 4.2.17 notes "Roads can have several adverse effects, including acting as barriers that prevent adults from migrating between nonbreeding and breeding habitats. Noise and light associated with roads may also interfere with the ability of frogs and toads to hear calls or to see and catch prey." It is not clear from this discussion whether this generalization includes logging roads. Given the stresses amphibian species are under, this clarification is important. -- Draft Report

Response by Jim Herrig:

The Aqua 5 Chapter was not modified based on this comment. The magnitude of the effects of roads on amphibian migrations, breeding, and feeding are proportional to the traffic load of the road. In this context, logging roads have an impact on amphibians (mainly because of their close proximity to the habitats compared to other roads); but the level of impacts is less than that of a highway where traffic loads are much higher. -- Final Report


Comment no. 102:

Section 6 states "The information recommended above will be of little use, if it is not made available to those who should use it….Some of this information exists in various places, but appropriately interpreted versions could be made available for various types of users." We think this is a substantial information gap. How do the federal agencies intend to make the existing and needed information "available to those who should use it?" How do the federal agencies propose for this necessary research to be conducted in these times of reduced federal and state budgets? -- Draft Report

Response by Jim Herrig:

The Assessment will be made available to the public through hard copy distribution, news releases, and internet web page. One of the purposes of this Assessment was to identify knowledge gaps. We have shown a considerable knowledge gap exists for many of the aquatic species discussed. This Assessment does not purport to identify all of the solutions to these needs but, hopefully, serves to open discussions and prompt actions by the various concerned parties. -- Final Report


Comment no. 101:

Since the aquatic impacts of timber cutting and removal are often quite proximate to the cutting area in distance and time, it is critical that these "watersheds critically important to preserve aquatic diversity" receive subregional priority as focus areas. Since the study referenced limited itself to agricultural nonpoint source pollution, timber cutting and removal produces much the same type of pollution, and often occurs in these same watersheds, the need to identify these watersheds and to consider cumulative water quality impacts constitutes a major gap in this study that needs to be filled by the second tier smaller studies. -- Draft Report

Response by Jim Herrig:

The Aqua 5 Chapter was not modified based on this comment. We agree that the second tier of studies should focus on watersheds where sediment impacts are contributing to the degradation of aquatic habitats. This study did not focus solely on agriculture non-point source pollution. Our effort was directed toward the effects of sediment on species. The Aqua 1 Chapter discusses, in detail, the principal sources of sediment. -- Final Report


Comment no. 100:

It is difficult to understand how the findings in Aqua-5 can coexist with some of the findings in the TMBR Technical section and in Aqua-4 that fail to make the connection between the runoff contribution of timber cutting and removal and cumulative stresses on aquatic ecosystems. The absolutely stunning statement in the Key Findings of this paper that "Gaps in our scientific knowledge about southern aquatic species are monumental. Research of many types is urgently needed" argues strongly for a much more "precautionary" approach to the southern forest exploitation than that projected and endorsed elsewhere in the study. -- Draft Report

Response by Jim Herrig:

The Aqua 5 Chapter was not modified based on this comment. Sediment from timber cutting and removal is recognized for its contribution to the cumulative stress imposed on the aquatic ecosystem but the magnitude of this impact is, generally less than that of other activities, i.e. agriculture and urbananization. In localized areas where timber cutting and removal play significant role, strict implementation of State BMPs should be emphasized. -- Final Report


Comment no. 63:

The statement that Wood Products Waste (sawdust and bark) are among "the most insidious pollutants" should either be substantiated or discounted. -- Draft Report

Response by Jim Herrig:

The Aqua 5 Chapter was not modified based on this comment. Two references are cited at the end of this sentence that substanciate the statement. -- Final Report


Comment no. 62:

The chapter notes that certain pollutants from forestry activities can disrupt aquatic systems, but fails to recognize that BMPs were developed to reduce the risk to water quality. -- Draft Report

Response by Jim Herrig:

The Aqua 5 Chapter was not modified based on this comment. The Aqua 4 Chapter goes into considerable detail about BMPs and was not duplicated here. -- Final Report

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created: 4-OCT-2002
modified: 08-Dec-2013