Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Forestry

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Barton

Abstract

In Kentucky, Best Management Practices (BMPs) were developed to protect the integrity of water resources during and after silvicultural operations, but their effectiveness is largely unknown. The study objectives were to (1) quantify the extent to which current BMPs minimized logging-related changes in stream water quality, channel morphology, and the content of woody debris and (2) quantify the extent to which modified BMPs influenced these characteristics. Six watersheds in eastern Kentucky were commercially logged in 2008-2009. In each watershed, one of three treatments was implemented (each replicated once). Treatment 1 (BMP) was based on current Kentucky BMPs. In treatments 2 (BMP+) and 3 (BMP++), current BMPs were modified with additional protective measures. Before the harvest, sampling sites were established in each watershed. Channel morphology and woody debris data were collected at each site in 2006 and again 2014. Data for water chemistry were retrieved from ongoing sampling records. BMP watersheds were compared to one another and to unharvested control watersheds in each year independently. Data within each individual watershed were also compared across years. The results indicate that current BMPs were effective in minimizing changes in the watershed characteristics examined here, and the benefits of modified BMPs were highly variable.

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