Forestry BMP Monitoring Protocol
Kristina Ferrare and Paul Barten worked with Dave Welsch (the US Forest Service project leader) and many other collaborators for state forestry agencies to develop, test, refine, and complete a regional monitoring protocol for forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) that are deployed to avoid, prevent, or mitigate adverse impacts from timber harvesting (and associated activities like forest road construction) on water quality and aquatic ecosystems. Originally developed by Roger Ryder and Tim Post, Maine Forest Service, the process- and performance-based field monitoring protocol generates a large and complex database for each site. Ferrare, Barten, and Welsch developed a management information system (BMP-MIS), based on Microsoft Office™, to efficiently convert field data into findings and information in standard report template. Field data downloaded from a handheld PC or PDA is sorted and organized in Microsoft Access™, transferred to Microsoft Excel™ for summarization and statistical analysis, then sent to a report template in Microsoft Word™ (charts and tables) that—with narrative, photos, and recommendations added by the analyst—helps to identify opportunities for improvements in BMP training, design, and implementation on future timber harvests. William Frament and Tom Luther (U.S. Forest Service, Durham, NH) added GIS and spatial analysis functions to the BMP-MIS. The monitoring protocol software, field guide, and desk guide can be downloaded from the U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area Watershed Program website.