Standard Erosion and Sediment Control PlanI. General Requirements
Forest Harvest Operations
A Sediment Control Plan is required for all harvests exceeding 5,000 square feet of disturbed area, or which cross any perennial or intermittent watercourse with a drainage area exceeding 400 acres (100 acres for trout waters).
This Standard Erosion and Sediment Control Plan may be substituted for a custom plan for forest harvest operations when all of the following conditions are met:
1. Road cuts or fills are less than 3 feet (5 feet in Western Maryland*).
2. Grades for roads are less than 15 percent.
3. Grades for skid trails are less than 15 percent (in Western Maryland*, skid trails shall not normally exceed 15 percent, but may be extended to 20 percent for distances less than 200 feet).
4. Landings are located on slopes less than 10 percent.
If the above conditions or any other criteria of this plan cannot be met, a plan modification listing controls necessary to prevent erosion and ensure site stabilization will have to be prepared by a licensed professional forester and submitted along with this plan to the local Soil Conservation District for approval.
A. Unless one operator assumes full responsibility for implementing this plan, all forest harvest operators working at a site must obtain an erosion and sediment control plan. An operator is defined as any individual or company which has contracted or subcontracted a portion of the harvest operation. This also applies to those operators conducting firewood cutting or separate forest harvest operations in conjunction with or subsequent to the initial harvest. Each operator must implement and maintain the required practices.
B. The applicant shall notify the Maryland Dept. of the Environment, 1-800-922-8017 (or county inspection agency where designated) - at least 48 hours prior to commencing forest harvest operations. This inspection agency must also be notified at least 48 hours prior to the completion of work.
C. A copy of this plan and any approved plan modifications shall be available on site during harvest operations.
D. Each site will be periodically inspected by local government and/or State inspectors for compliance with this plan. State and local inspectors may require Soil Conservation District approved plan modifications to this standard plan as conditions dictate, or to prevent movement of ediment from the site.
E. Failure to properly implement or maintain the practices required by this plan, or to comply with written requirements for corrective action may result in the operation being stopped (issuance of a stop work order) until the deficiencies have been corrected. Failure to take required corrective action may also result in legal action.
F. All erosion and sediment controls must be implemented in accordance with specifications contained in the document entitled “Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines for Forest Harvest Operations in Maryland” (hereafter referred to as Guidelines for Forest Harvest Operations) available from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Forest service, or the Maryland Dept. of the Environment.
III. Standard Plan Requirements
A. Site Maps
Site maps or sketches shall be prepared for all harvests and submitted with the plan application to the Soil Conservation District. The map shall identify the site location and provide directions and distances from the nearest major road intersection. All access points, landings, haul roads, waterbodies, uncut buffer areas, and stream crossings must be identified on the map or sketch. A more detailed map of buffer areas is required when buffer management plans are submitted. The harvest area should also be delineated on a xerox copy of the U.S.G.S. topographic map.
B. Site Access
1. Access points to the site shall be stabilized with wood chips, corduroy logs, a stone construction entrance or other methods approved in the Guidelines for Forest Harvest Operations. Any soil or debris which is tracked onto off-site paved roads shall be removed and deposited in a controlled area by the end of each working day.
2. A grading or entrance permit may be required for a new entrance onto a county or State road. Details may be obtained from the local permitting agency.
3. Existing public road drainage shall not be blocked or damaged by access construction. Pipe culverts shall be installed to maintain existing drainage.
C. Waterway Protection
1. Uncut buffer zones shall be marked and maintained on all sides of perennial or intermittent streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, bogs or marshes. These features are identified on United States Geological Survey 7.5 Minute Series (topographic) quadrangle maps. The minimum buffer zone width shall be 50 feet. This applies to land with no slope. Where sloping land is encountered, the following table shall be adhered to:
Average Percent Slope Width of Buffer (feet) to Watercourse on each side of Watercourse 1-10 75 11-20 100 21-30 150 31-40 200 41+ 250
2. Roads, trails, and harvesting equipment shall not be allowed in any buffer area except to provide access to authorized stream crossings.
3. The restriction on harvesting within buffer zones may be waived providing that a buffer management plan is submitted to and approved by the local Soil Conservation District. The management plan shall be designed by a licensed professional forester and include harvest method, the square footage of basal area to be removed and retained, provisions for removing and restocking the cut trees, and other criteria established below and in the Guidelines for Forest Harvest Operations. All trees to be removed from the buffer shall be marked at the base of the stump (so the mark remains after harvesting) by the professional forester in advance of the harvest operation. The buffer management plan shall become a modification to this standard plan and be available on site during harvest operations.
Harvesting within buffer areas must adhere to the following criteria. Basal area may not be reduced below 60 square feet of evenly distributed trees which are 6 inches or greater in diameter, measured at breast height. Any slash which inadvertently falls into adjacent waterbodies must be pulled back to prevent waterway blockage. Roads, trails, and equipment will not be allowed within 50 feet of any waterbody except at approved stream crossings. Timber cut within this 50 foot area must be removed by cable.
D. Haul Roads and Skid Trails
1. Grading of existing roads and/or trails will be limited to that necessary to make them operable, provided that the requirements of Section D(2) are complied with.
2. Haul roads and skid trails shall be laid out along natural land contours to avoid excessive cuts, fills, and grades. No road cut or fill shall exceed 3 feet (5 feet in Western Maryland*) without prior Soil Conservation District approval of the modification.
3. Crossing of perennial or intermittent streams should be avoided. Where it becomes necessary to cross either a perennial or intermittent stream, a bridge or culvert crossing shall be temporarily installed. A Maryland Dept. of the Environment waterway construction permit shall be obtained prior to crossing streams.
4. Grades for roads and trails shall not normally exceed 15 percent. If it is not feasible to limit road grades to 15 percent, a plan modification which identifies the erosion controls necessary to prevent excessive erosion, must be approved by the Soil Conservation District prior to road construction. (In Western Maryland*, skid trails may be established on slopes up to 20 percent for distances not to exceed 200 feet, without modification).
5. No haul roads or skid trails other than those providing access to waterway crossings shall be constructed within buffer areas. Drainage from approaches to waterway crossings shall be diverted to undisturbed areas.
6. Drainage structures shall be provided at the time of construction of haul roads and skid trails according to specifications contained in the Guidelines for Forest Harvest Operations.
Landings shall be located on reasonable level (between 3 and 10 percent slope) well drained ground. If the harvest sites do not have any area with a slope of at least 3 percent, landings shall be located on the maximum slope of the site. Landings located on slopes exceeding 10 percent shall require prior approval of the local Soil conservation District and may need erosion and sediment controls.
1. All unstable material (exposed soil) resulting from the construction of roads, trails and landings, with slopes greater than 30 percent and all perimeter slopes which are not adjacent to a buffer shall be stabilized within 7 days of disturbance with seed and mulch.
2. Upon completion of the harvest, all roads, trails, and landings located on slopes greater than 10 percent shall be graded or back-dragged, seeded, and mulched according to specifications. The surface of roads, landings, and major skid trails less than 10 percent should be backdragged and left in a condition that permits successful natural regeneration of trees, shrubs, or other annual and perennial plants. Under certain circumstances stabilization of these roads and landings with seed and/or mulch may be required.
1. All practices installed shall be maintained at all times to function as intended.
2. Any practice that fails to function properly will be repaired or corrected immediately.
* Western Maryland conditions apply to Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick Counties.
Back to Contents
This study was funded through a Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Maryland Department of Natural ResourcesThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service wants to know if this service is helpful
Forest Service and Chesapeake & Coastal Watershed Service
Annapolis, Maryland / April 2000 / FWHS-FS-00-01
for you or your company, please send comments and/or suggestions to Maryland DNR.
Other DNR info
DNR home page
Bays & Streams
Wildlife & Heritage