Forestry Best Management Practices
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are non-regulatory guidelines for silvicultural practices designed to protect water quality in Mississippi. The MFC conducts a statewide monitoring survey and publishes a report every three years. The purpose of BMP monitoring is to evaluate the use of voluntary BMPs by the forestry community. By monitoring silvicultural activities, the overall integrity of water quality will improve as well as the restoration and protection of all watersheds. The guidelines set forth in “Silviculture Best Management Practices Implementation Monitoring: A Framework for State Forestry Agencies” should be used to develop implementation monitoring procedures.
Biomass Harvesting Addendum
Biomass Harvesting Guidelines are designed to be used in conjunction with the “traditional” Mississippi’s Best Management Practices in Forestry, especially in the area of maintaining high water quality standards (MFC 2008) and in situations where more woody material is removed than during traditional forestry operations.
Forested lands are an important natural resource in Mississippi. They help protect and cleanse the water we need for drinking, residential use, irrigation, and industry. According to the Southern Forest Resource Assessment (USDA Forest Service 2002), forested watersheds consistently yield lower sediment and nutrient contributions to surface waters and improve biological conditions. It is through the wise management of these lands that a multitude of benefits is generated.
Forests make important, positive contributions to the quality of life for Mississippians by providing almost 70,000 jobs, a wealth of forest products, livestock forage areas, open spaces, abundant wildlife habitat, scenic areas, recreational experiences, and other recreational and economic benefits.
The Federal Clean Water Act of 1987 requires proper steps be taken to prevent pollution to sources of drinking water and protect water quality. When conducting forestry operations, using Mississippi’s Best Management Practices (BMPs) satisfies the requirements of the Clean Water Act. BMPs are a group of voluntary practices used to reduce water pollution.
It is the responsibility of the landowner and/or timber owner to ensure that water pollution does not occur from forestry operations in Mississippi. The professional resource manager and the equipment operator working for a landowner also have an ethical responsibility to ensure that practices performed do not cause pollution under the Water Quality Act and state law. It is in the best interest of all parties involved with managing forest resources to ensure adherence to water quality standards, thereby maintaining site quality while protecting environmental conditions. The Mississippi Forestry Commission’s role in water quality is to monitor the use of best management practices. Findings are reported to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). It is estimated that forest activity occurs on nearly 850,000 acres annually in Mississippi. The Mississippi Forestry Commission works with landowners, forest industry, loggers, and others to help ensure that forestry practices are in compliance with the Water Quality Act and state laws.
Additional information concerning forest management activities and water quality is available in this brochure: The Forest Landowner and Water Quality
Photo by Leslie Robertson, courtesy National Association of State Foresters
Water Quality and Forestry BMP Resources
- 2019 BMP Implementation Monitoring Survey Results
- 2016 BMP Implementation Monitoring Survey Results
- 2013 BMP Implementation Monitoring Survey Results
- 2010 Statewide BMP Implementation Monitoring Survey Results
- 2006 BMP Implementation Monitoring Survey result for the Big Black, Tombigbee and Tennessee River Basin
- 2007 Statewide BMP Implementation Monitoring Survey results
- 2003 Statewide BMP Implementation Monitoring Survey results
- To receive copies of the new fourth edition, please email Richard McInnis at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, company name, mailing address and number of copies needed.
- Best Management Practices Handbook Fourth Edition, September 2008
- 15 Federally Mandated Forestry BMPs for Roads
- State Law 95-15-14 …
- Obstructing waterways; felling trees in excess of six inches in diameter into running stream. It shall be unlawful and a misdemeanor for any person, firm, corporation, association or organization to push, fell or cut trees, in excess of six (6) inches in diameter, into a running stream, or deposit or leave in a running stream, trees, in excess of six (6) inches in diameter, logs in excess of six (6) inches in diameter or tree tops, without removing the same immediately, in such cases where such will materially impede the flow of or navigation upon such running stream.
- Any violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) and not more than two hundred dollars ($200.00).
For more information on this program, please contact:
Forest Management Chief
660 North Street, Suite 300
Jackson, MS 39202
Cell: (601) 927-8484