Forestry – Best Management Practices for Loggers

The Alabama Environmental Management Act authorizes the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to establish and enforce water quality


standards, regulations, and penalties in order to carry out the provisions of state and federal water quality laws.  From that authorization, ADEM Administrative Code prohi
bits the deposition of pollutants into or the degradation of the physical, chemical, or biological integrity of the waters of the state.

With regard to silviculture (logging, site preparation, reforestation, and prescribed burning; just to name a few silvicultural practices), non-point source pollutants include, but are not limited to:


Sediment Soil being put or getting into the water from such activities as stream crossings, skid trails, haul roads
Organic materials Tops in streams, stream crossings left in place
Temperature Not enough shade from the trees in the Streamside Management Zone (SMZ) or not leaving an SMZ
Trash Oil buckets left on site
Pesticides Spraying herbicides that do not have an aquatic label into the waters of the state
Nutrients Improperly applying fertilizer into the waters of the state

ADEM advocates that avoiding environmental problems through voluntary application of preventive techniques (Best Management Practices – BMPs) is the desired, less expensive, mos051t cost-effective and practical route to take.  It costs when restoration has to be implemented after the fact.

Loggers can obtain a copy of Alabama’s Best Management Practices for Forestry at any Alabama Forestry Commission office or by going online to  You can also contact Ray Clifton with the Alabama Loggers’ Council at or Chris Erwin with the SFI Loggers Education Committee at


Although it is stated that BMPs are voluntary preventive techniques to protect water quality, it must also be stated that the proper implementation of BMPs are mandated in the standards of the three third-party certification programs being used in Alabama at this

time; the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Tree Farm, and the Forest Stewardship
Council (FSC). If BMPs are not implemented or poorly implemented by you, the logger, the
tract will not be in compliance with the certification program. This can really cause you a
problem, not to mention the environmental concerns. One-third of Alabama’s forestland is
covered under one of these programs. Chances are your next tract of timber will be as well.

If you have questions, contact Jim Jeter at 205-333-1590 x19, by email at or write to his attention at Alabama Forestry Commission, 8135 McFarland Boulevard, Northport 35476