April 11, 2019 Lufkin – Every three years, Texas A&M Forest Service conducts Best Management Practices (BMP) implementation monitoring on randomly-selected forested tracts across East Texas. For each round of monitoring, foresters evaluate 150 tracts on which silvicultural activities occurred. This program of monitoring non-regulatory forestry BMPs in East Texas is funded by Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grants from the Environmental Protection Agency through the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. The objective is to measure the degree of BMP implementation by forest landowners, silvicultural contractors, forest industry, and government agencies.
Forestry BMPs are on-the-ground practices that aid in reducing nonpoint source pollution from silvicultural activities, protecting soil and water. The recently completed Round 10 of monitoring covered 33 counties between March 8, 2017, and December 6, 2018. These sites are believed to be a representative sample of the forestry activities that occurred in East Texas during that time period.
Averaging together all 150 scores in this round, overall BMP implementation on the monitored sites was 93.8%. In general, implementation was highest on sites under public ownership. These National Forest and General Land Office (GLO) sites had an overall implementation of 99.0%. Corporate lands (commercial landowners that do not have wood processing facilities) scored 95.3% overall, and family forest owners scored 91.1%.
Implementation with BMPs was statistically higher when:
- a forester was involved in the sale or activity;
- the logging contractor had attended formal BMP training;
- the landowner was already familiar with BMPs;
- BMPs were included in the timber sale contract;
- the timber was delivered to an SFI® mill; and
- the landowner had a forest management plan.
Overall BMP implementation has remained steady the last several years; this past round being just below the record levels set in Round 8 (94.1%). Most impressive is the considerable progress demonstrated by family forest owners since monitoring began in the early 1990s. BMP implementation on family forest owner sites was 91.1% this past round, representing a 31% increase since 1992. This improvement demonstrates that the ongoing education and training strategies geared towards loggers, landowners, and foresters were the driving force behind the increases in implementation.
To see a copy of the full report, along with past reports, go to https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/BMPMonitoring