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Keyword: soil disturbance

Effects of heavy equipment on physical properties of soils and on long-term productivity: A review of literature and current research

Documents and Media Posted on: October 26, 2018
Soil disturbance caused by heavy equipment used for harvesting or site preparation can have negative effects on soil properties and long-term forest site productivity. Soil compaction, churning, rutting, mixing, displacement, and removal are types of disturbance that can reduce tree root growth through their influence on soil physical, chemical, and biological properties.Document Type: Other Documents

Effects of harvesting and soil disturbance on soil CO2 efflux from a jack pine forest

Documents and Media Posted on: October 10, 2018
We measured organic matter removal and soil compaction effects on soil surface CO2 efflux (F) from a jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) forest and developed an analytical framework involving multiplicative response functions to interpret response.Document Type: Other Documents

The Soil-Disturbance Field Guide

Pages Posted on: August 14, 2018
The Forest Service considers the sustainable production of natural resources and the maintenance of soil and water quality high priorities as it plans and implements management activities.

Soil-disturbance field guide

Documents and Media Posted on: August 14, 2018
When planning and implementing management activities using soildisturbance classes, this process may be helpful: Collect existing information on the project area. Review current and past aerial photography. Obtain documentation of previous management activities (if available). Review existing soil-survey information. Determine soil-resource issues. Conduct onsite investigations to determine soil characteristics and impacts of past management activities. Disturbance classes can be used to quantify management impacts on soils. (Follow the Forest Soil Disturbance Monitoring Protocol, volume 2.) Determine the risk of soil disturbance resulting from planned management activities (equipment, fire) using current risk-rating models. Establish desired soil conditions and develop project-design features needed to achieve them. Conduct post-project monitoring following the national protocol to determine if desired soil conditions have been met. Adjust soil risk ratings if needed. Coordinate with the regional soil scientist on the need for more quantitative monitoring. Document Type: Other Documents

Protocols for understanding variability and change in soils

Science Spotlights Posted on: October 05, 2015
Productive forest soils are the underpinning for sustainable forest activities, and monitoring is the key to ensuring productivity has not been altered by land management. The Forest Soil-Disturbance Monitoring Protocol (FSDMP) Toolkit developed by Forest Service scientists helps meet the challenge of developing meaningful soil quality standards that can evaluate the full range of variability found in forest soils. Additionally, the Station sponsored workshops in every Forest Service Region to outline the protocol and conduct field training sessions.

Recovery of small pile burn scars in conifer forests of the Colorado Front Range

Publications Posted on: April 09, 2015
The ecological consequences of slash pile burning are a concern for land managers charged with maintaining forest soil productivity and native plant diversity. Fuel reduction and forest health management projects have created nearly 150,000 slash piles scheduled for burning on US Forest Service land in northern Colorado. The vast majority of these are small piles (

Pile burning creates a fifty-year legacy of openings in regenerating lodgepole pine forests in Colorado

Publications Posted on: March 12, 2015
Pile burning is a common means of disposing the woody residues of logging and for post-harvest site preparation operations, in spite of the practice’s potential negative effects. To examine the long-term implications of this practice we established a 50-year sequence of pile burns within recovering clear cuts in lodgepole pine forests.

Evidence supporting the need for a common soil monitoring protocol

Publications Posted on: March 26, 2014
Many public land management agencies monitor forest soils for levels of disturbance related to management activities. Although several soil disturbance monitoring protocols based on visual observation have been developed to assess the amount and types of disturbance caused by forest management, no common method is currently used on National Forest lands in the United States.

Effects of slash, machine passes, and soil moisture on penetration resistance in a cut-to-length harvesting

Publications Posted on: May 14, 2013
Multiple entries into forest stands are often needed for fire hazard reduction and ecosystem restoration treatments in the Inland-Northwest U.S.A. region. However, soil compaction occurring from mechanized harvesting operations often remains for many years and may contribute to a decline in long-term site productivity.

A detrimental soil disturbance prediction model for ground-based timber harvesting

Publications Posted on: June 04, 2012
Soil properties and forest productivity can be affected during ground-based harvest operations and site preparation. The degree of impact varies widely depending on topographic features and soil properties. Forest managers who understand site-specific limits to ground-based harvesting can alter harvest method or season to limit soil disturbance.

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