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25' buffer around ponds

Mike Hagen mhagen at olympus.net
Mon Aug 17 11:27:27 EST 1998

Sounds like you have a pretty good set of BMPs in Mass. If they are
based on practical experience, they'll work. If not, well...

Controversy in this neck of the woods arises when one group, such as
forest landowners has stiffer requirements than another group, say, of
real estate developers.  When they're on the same river people notice. 
Some forest practice buffers are now up to 200 feet, OR to the edge of
the floodway OR to the top of the obvious break in topography, depending
on the exact local conditions. Residential setbacks are based on the 100
year flood line (FEMA map) and sometimes inadequate.  Ag setbacks appear
to be nonexistant or at most a single tractor width. 

Personally, I feel that agricultural practices are more intensive and
intrusive than those of forestry!
Mike H.

Joseph Zorzin wrote:
> Mike Hagen wrote:
> >
> > This is a good topic for bringing up regional differences in how we "do"
> > forestry.  The amount of land set aside for riparian function varies
> > tremendously between jurisdictions and over different climatic
> > conditions.  What are listers local rules and are they appropriate?  Are
> > small owners held to the same rules as corporate forest owners or the
> > Feds?  What about agricultural/ residential riparian regulation?
> > Mike H.
> >
> Here in Mass. the state has published the Mass. Forestry Best Mgt.
> Practices Manual, a slick water resistant and durable manual. I have to
> admit that my "burros" produce some classy looking documents, pamphlets,
> brochures. What they're really worth is another question. <G>
> But, the BMP manual is pretty good.
> 1. why BMP's
> 2. planning
> 3. skid trails
> 4. truck roads
> 5. landings
> 6. hay bale and silt installation
> 7. filter strips
> 8. buffer strips
> 9. stream crossings
> 10. wetlands
> 11. vernal pools
> 12. rare and endangered species
> 13. seeding
> 14. before leaving job
> 15. forest chemical mgt.
> 16. prescribed burning and wildlife
> 17. MA slash law requirements
> Now regarding riparian and wetlands, I'll make some brief notes as I
> read through this manual.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> 3. skid trails *****************
> - no machinery is allowed to operate in a certified vernal pool, it must
> have a 50' filter strip
> -no logging equipment in a filter strip except
> -----to reduce env. damage which is unavoidable
> -----at an approved stream crossing
> -----on a pre-existing logging road
> -----in filter strips greater than 50', beyond the 50'
> 7. filter strips *****************
> -filter strips are required along all water bodies and certified vernal
> pools
> - no more than 50% of the basal area may be cut in the filter strip at
> any one time
> -the filter strip will extend 50' back from the bank, if a slope near
> the water body is greater than 30% the filter strip is 100', for special
> type water bodies of greater significance the filter strip will be
> larger, up to 450'
> -no slash can remain within 25' of any brook. stream, river, lake, pond
> or water supply
> 9. stream crossings *****************
> -detailed instructions and guidelines regarding poling, bridges,
> culverts, use of hay bales, etc.
> 10. wetlands *****************
> -roads built through wetlands are temporary
> -wetlands must be operated when dry, frozen or otherwise stable
> -maintain at least 50% of basal area in wetlands
> -further instructions on operating within wetlands
> 11. vernal pools
> -detailed instructions on operating near them
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> The above is just an outline of what the 56 page BMP manual says about
> wetlands. As I mentioned above, I consider most of the state's
> brochures, manuals an pamphlets well designed, although of questionable
> value to the real world. They might be more valuable the real world if
> published on the net.
> Regarding your question on "agricultural/ residential riparian
> regulation", I can't answer except to say that in general- agricultural
> activities are not looked at very closely (farmers have too much
> political power), and urban development is looked at very intensively.
> You need an engineer on such work at it must meet numerous local and
> state wide rules and regs.

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