How do Washington State’s forest practices rules help protect streams and wetlands? The rules emphasize the correct ways to avoid damage to streams and wetlands caused by water runoff from roads built during timber harvests.
One example is the berm. You’ve probably seen these barriers alongside back roads. Berms are constructed by using a grader to create short earthen barriers along the edge of a road. Berms are good to use where a road parallels a stream or wetland. They are put there to protect wetlands from damaging road runoff.
DNR Forest Practices Illustrated advises that berms should be kept to the minimum length needed. Any water that flows along the berm edge needs to be routed to the forest floor in an area that will not affect a stream or wetland. In most cases, changing the slope of the forest road’s surface is a better option. The photo with this posting shows a road section where wetland protection was needed on both sides.
Forest Practices Illustrated is an overview of the rules DNR enforces on 13 million acres of state and private forestlands to protect streams, wetlands, clean water, and habitat.
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