Klamath Falls Record of Decision and Resource Management Plan

Klamath Falls Record of Decision

Klamath Falls District Resource Management Plan Table of Contents:

- Tables

- Maps

- Appendices

Appendix D

Best Management Practices

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The best management practices described in this appendix are designed to achieve the objectives of maintaining or improving water quality and soil productivity and the protection of riparian-wetland areas. The goal of the practices listed is to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts while meeting other resource objectives.

These best management practices are a compilation of existing policies and guidelines and commonly employed practices to minimize water quality degradation and loss of soil productivity. These best management practices are considered the primary mechanisms to achieve Oregon water quality standards.

Nonpoint sources of pollution result from natural causes, human actions, and the interactions between natural events and conditions associated with human use of the land and its resources. Nonpoint source pollution is caused by diffuse sources rather than from a discharge at a specific, single location. Such pollution results in alteration of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of water. Erosion from a harvest unit or surface erosion from a road are some examples of nonpoint sources.

Best management practices are defined as methods, measures or practices selected on the basis of site-specific conditions to ensure that water quality will be maintained at its highest practicable level. Best management practices include, but are not limited to, structural and nonstructural controls, operations, and maintenance procedures. best management practicess can be applied before, during, and after pollution-producing activities to reduce or eliminate the introduction of pollutants into receiving waters (40 Code of Federal Regulations 130.2, Environmental Protection Agency Water Quality Standards Regulation).

Best management practices are identified as part of the National Environmental Policy Act process, with interdisciplinary involvement. Because the control of nonpoint sources of pollution is an ongoing process, continual refinement of best management practices design is necessary. This process can be described in five steps, which are: 1) selection of design of a specific best management practices; 2) application of the best management practices; 3) monitoring; 4) evaluation; and 5) feedback. Data gathered through monitoring is evaluated and is used to identify changes needed in best management practices design, application, or in the monitoring program.

Monitoring of soil, water, and riparian-wetland resources conducted by the Klamath Falls Resource Area is described in the following documents: The Klamath Falls Resource Area Interdisciplinary Rangeland Monitoring Plan; Appendix O in the Klamath Falls Resource Area Proposed Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement; and BLM Manual Supplement 1743-2, Rangeland Monitoring Handbook.


The goal of this document is to identify water quality and soil objectives for various management actions. The practices listed below each management action are given as examples of best management practices which are effective in achieving the water and soil objectives. Best management practices are selected and implemented as necessary based on site-specific conditions to meet water and soil objectives for specific management actions. This document does not provide an exhaustive list of best management practices. Additional best management practices may be identified during the interdisciplinary process when evaluating site-specific management actions. Implementation and effectiveness of best management practices need to be monitored to determine whether the practices are achieving water and soil objectives. Adjustments will be made as necessary to ensure objectives are met and as needed to conform with changes in Bureau of Land Management policy, direction, or new information.


This Appendix is organized by management activities plus separate sections which address activity planning and design, riparian-wetland areas, and fragile soils. Objectives are stated under each management activity followed by a list of practices designed to achieve these objectives.

Any best management practices that corresponds with a Standard and Guideline from the Record of Decision for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement has the number of the Standard and Guideline referenced in bold (for example RF-1).

Legislation and Regulations

This document is designed to ensure compliance with the:

Clean Water Act of 1972, as amended (1977 and 1987). Section 319 of the Clean Water Act Amendments of 1987 (Water Quality Act) requires that the states determine those waters that will not meet the goals of the Act, to determine those nonpoint source activities that are contributing pollution, and to develop a process of determining best management practicess to reduce such pollution to the "maximum extent practicable".

Oregon Administrative Rules (Chapter 340, sections: 340-41-026,027,965). Department of Environmental Quality. Oregon's Administrative Rules contain water quality standards for the identified beneficial uses of water in relation to the antidegradation policy, the requirement for the highest and best control of waste activities, temperature and turbidity.

BLM Manual 9188: Nonpoint Source Pollution Control

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Activity Planning and Design 3
Riparian Reserves 6
Soil Resource Protection 11
Fragile Soils 12
Roads 15
Timber Harvest 22
Silviculture 26
Firewood Program 28
Wildfire and Prescribed Fire 28
Mining 31
Livestock Grazing 35
Watershed Rehabilitation 37
Fisheries Habitat Improvement Projects 38
Recreation and Off-Highway Vehicle Use 39
Management of Competing Vegetation (Not Including Noxious Weeds) 40
Noxious Weed Control 41
Water Source Development and Use 42
Erosion Control Practices 42
Definitions and Proper Functioning Condition 42
Table D-1. Riparian Reserve Widths (in feet) 8
Table D-2. Erosion Potential 11
Classes to Space Lateral Road Drainage Culverts. 45
Table D-4. Guide for Macimum Spacing of Lateral Drainage Culverts by Soil Erosion Classes and Road Grade 46
Table D-5. Water Bar Spacing 25
Table D-6. Guidelines for Levels of Burn Intensity 30
Table D-7. Utilization Standards in Riparin-Wetland Areas 36
Table D-8. Degree of Allowable Use 37
Table D-9. Applicaiton Technique 40
Table D-10. Application Technique 41

Activity Planning and Design

A. Planning

Objective: To include soil productivity, water quality and hydrologic considerations in activity planning.


  1. Incorporate landscape-level analysis and watershed analysis into project and activity planning. Watershed analysis consists of: identifying principal issues within a particular watershed; identifying existing and desired conditions (as driven by the principal issues); identifying those processes and activities that need to be modified to achieve the desired watershed conditions; identifying restoration opportunities; and identifying planning and coordination requirements. Guidance on developing watershed restoration projects and for conducting watershed analysis can be found in Chapter 2 of the Proposed Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement and in other issued guidance.
  2. Use the timber production capability classification inventory to identify areas classified as fragile due to slope gradient, mass movement potential, surface erosion potential, and high ground water levels.
  3. Use the planning process to identify, evaluate, and map potential problems (for example, slump prone areas, saturated areas and slide areas).
  4. Develop activity plans for third to fifth order watersheds to minimize detrimental cumulative effects on water quality and quantity.
  5. Analyze watershed cumulative effects and provide mitigation measures if necessary to meet water quality requirements (see Cumulative Effects below).
  6. Disperse activities over time and space.
  7. Determine potential for natural and activity-created high intensity wildfires at the subwatershed level. Reduce potential for high intensity wildfires through proposed management activities.
  8. Identify in-stream flows needed to maintain riparian resources, channel conditions, fish passage, and aquatic habitat (LH-1, RA-1).
  9. Address attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives in Wild and Scenic Rivers and Wilderness management plans.

Objective: To restore and maintain riparian-wetland areas so that 75 percent or more are in proper functioning condition by 1997. The overall objective is to achieve an advanced ecological status (late successional), except where resource management objectives, including proper functioning condition, would require an earlier successional stage.


  1. Assess the current status of a riparian-wetland area in terms of functioning condition and ecological status (see the Definitions and Proper Functioning Condition section for a list of reference materials).
  2. Use the methods outlined in the Definitions and Proper Functioning Condition section and BLM Technical Reference 1737-9, Process for Assessing Proper Functioning Condition to determine proper functioning condition and to determine the desired functioning and ecological condition for a riparian-wetland area.

B. Design

Objective: To ensure that management activities maintain favorable conditions of soil productivity, water flow, water quality, and fish habitat.


  1. Design proposed management activities to avoid potential adverse impacts to soil and water. Evaluate factors such as soil characteristics, watershed physiography, current watershed and stream channel conditions, proposed roads, skid trails, logging system design, season of activity, etc., to determine impacts of proposed management activities.
  2. Design mitigation measures if unavoidable adverse impacts to water quality/quantity or soil productivity may result from the proposed action.

C. Maps/Contract Requirements

Objective: To identify areas to be protected and to ensure their protection on the ground.

Practices: Include the following on activity maps and/or contracts:

  1. Location of all stream channels and riparian-wetland areas (springs, meadows, lakes, bogs, etc.).
  2. Stipulations required for each stream channel and riparian-wetland area.
  3. Location of water sources available for Purchaser's/Contractor's use (see the Water Source Development and Use section).
  4. Location of water sources to be used for management activities (see the Water Source Development and Use section).

D. Cumulative Effects

Objective: To minimize detrimental impacts on water and soil resources resulting from the cumulative effect of land management activities within a watershed.


  1. When and where possible, coordinate scheduling of management activities such as timber sales, road construction, and watershed enhancement activities with other landowners in the watershed.
  2. Identify watersheds with a high level of cumulative effects. Conduct cumulative effects analysis as required by the National Environmental Policy Act process. Cumulative effects analysis assesses the effects of a proposed action on the environment; the following procedure is only one method of doing so. There is no required standard analysis procedure for cumulative impacts. Cumulative effects analysis is separate, but similar, to analyses conducted for Section 7 Consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Information in one can be incorporated into the other. Watershed analysis provides information for the "Affected Environment" and "Management Opportunity" portions of a National Environmental Policy Act or planning document, but does not analyze impacts. Cumulative effects analysis supplements and supports watershed analysis.

    a. Use the following general guidelines to delineate watersheds for cumulative effects analyses.
    1. Use natural drainage boundaries.
    2. Use third to fifth order drainages.
    3. Size ranges from 500 to 10,000 acres.
    4. Locate lower boundary based on a state-recognized beneficial use.

    b. The extent to which any or all of the following criteria exist would determine which watersheds have a high risk for water quality degradation due to cumulative effects. The criteria are not listed in order of priority.

    1. Highly erodible soils.
    2. High equivalent clearcut area.
    3. Large area of compacted soil.
    4. High level of non-recovered openings in transient snow zone.
    5. High sedimentation potential.
    6. Poor to fair channel stability or condition.
    7. Poor to fair riparian condition.
    8. High impact from catastrophic event (for example, wildfire).
    9. High road density.
    10. Potential for adverse impact on a beneficial use.
    11. Monitoring data shows that water quality does not meet state water quality standards.
  3. After initial analysis, an intensive evaluation should include the nature of the problem, the cause of the problem, and a specific plan with objectives and alternatives for recovery and mitigation. Water monitoring may also be initiated to validate the conclusion of the impact analysis and to establish baseline data. This step complements, and may be an integral part of conducting a watershed analysis.
  4. Based on site-specific conditions, select and apply one or more special management practices such as the following to mitigate water quality impacts in high risk or highly impacted watersheds.

a. Develop and implement a watershed/riparian enhancement plan and encourage coordination with landowners.

b. Require plans of operation for mining and rights-of-way. Require a management plan for grazing.

c. Defer the watershed from management activities which would potentially degrade water quality for approximately five years. Reanalyze the watershed.

d. Increase widths of Riparian Reserves to provide additional protection.

e. Incorporate watershed and riparian-wetland area management objectives into existing plans (Coordinated Resource Management Plans, Allotment Management Plans, etc.) where practicable.

f. Require helicopter logging.

g. Require full suspension cable yarding.

h. Require seasonal restrictions with no waivers for timber falling and yarding.

i. Minimize existing and prevent additional road caused impacts:

  • reduce road densities by obliterating roads or reduce open road densities through road closures
  • minimize road width and clearing limits
  • require transport of excavated materials to appropriate disposal site (end hauling)
  • prohibit new road construction
  • surface all roads
  • require seasonal restriction with no waivers for construction, renovation and hauling
  • require special low impact maintenance and construction techniques
  • no roadside brushing/grubbing with excavator
  • no blading and ditch pulling in the wet season unless essential to provide drainage
  • rock ditch lines
  • pull back sidecast from road construction and recontour roadway
  • remove culverts and reshape drainageway crossings

j. Restrict or officially close the watershed to off-road vehicle use and enforce the closure.

k. Implement regular compliance reviews on all activities in the watershed.

l. Assess trade-offs between wildfire suppression impacts and wildfire damage; plan suppression levels accordingly. Limit use of heavy equipment during wildfire suppression (see the Wildfire and Prescribed Fire section).

m. Develop a Winter Logging Plan

  • design proper snow storage areas
  • manipulate snow cover on roads to allow for proper drainage of melt water
  • prohibit hauling activities during snow melt

E. Permits

Objective: To minimize detrimental impacts on water and riparian-wetland resources and to comply with the Clean Water Act.

Practice: Obtain appropriate and necessary permits from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (through the Oregon Division of State lands) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for projects potentially affecting waters of the state and/or wetlands. Guidance regarding permit requirements for resource management activities is outlined in BLM Manual 9188: Nonpoint Source Pollution Control and in 33 Code of Federal Regulations 330.

Riparian Reserves


An Aquatic Conservation Strategy is outlined in Chapter 2 of the Proposed Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement that is aimed at restoring and maintaining the ecological health of watersheds, providing a scientific basis for protecting the aquatic ecosystem, and to enable planning for sustainable resource management.

The objectives of the Aquatic Conservation Strategy are:

  • maintain and restore the distribution, diversity, and complexity of watershed and landscape-scale features to ensure protection of the aquatic systems to which species, populations and communities are uniquely adapted;
  • maintain and restore spatial and temporal connectivity within and between watersheds. Lateral, longitudinal, and drainage network connections include floodplains, wetlands, upslope areas, headwater tributaries, and intact refugia. These network connections must provide chemically and physically unobstructed routes to areas critical for fulfilling life history requirements of aquatic and riparian-dependent species;
  • maintain and restore the physical integrity of the aquatic system, including shorelines, banks, and bottom configurations;
  • maintain and restore water quality necessary to support healthy riparian, aquatic, and wetland ecosystems. Water quality must remain in the range that maintains the biological, physical, and chemical integrity of the system and benefits survival, growth, reproduction, and migration of individuals composing aquatic and riparian communities;
  • maintain and restore the sediment regime under which the aquatic system evolved. Elements of the sediment regime include the timing, volume, rate, and character of sediment input, storage, and transport;
  • maintain and restore in-stream flows sufficient to create and sustain riparian, aquatic, and wetland habitats and to retain patterns of sediment, nutrient, and wood routing. The timing, magnitude, duration, and spatial distribution of peak, high, and low flows must be protected;
  • maintain and restore the timing, variability, and duration of floodplain inundation and water table elevation in meadows and wetlands;
  • maintain and restore the species composition and structural diversity of plant communities in riparian-wetland areas and wetlands to provide adequate summer and winter thermal regulation, nutrient filtering, appropriate rates of surface erosion, bank erosion, and channel migration and to supply amounts and distributions of coarse woody debris sufficient to sustain physical complexity and stability; and
  • maintain and restore habitat to support well-distributed populations of native plant, invertebrate, and vertebrate riparian-dependent species.

The components of the Aquatic Conservation Strategy are:

  1. Riparian Reserves: Riparian Reserves are lands along streams and unstable and potentially unstable areas where special standards and guidelines direct land use. The prescribed widths of these Riparian Reserves for various stream and riparian-wetland area categories are described in Section III A. These widths are intended to provide a high level of fish, wildlife and plant habitat and riparian-wetland area protection until watershed and site analysis can be completed. Although Riparian Reserve boundaries on permanently flowing streams may be adjusted, these are considered to be the approximate widths necessary for attaining Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. Post-watershed analysis Riparian Reserve boundaries for permanently flowing streams will approximate the boundaries described in Section III A. Following watershed analysis, Riparian Reserve boundaries for intermittent streams may be different from the existing boundaries. Determination of final boundaries will be based on hydrologic, geomorphic and ecologic processes in a watershed affecting intermittent streams. The widths of Riparian Reserves apply to all watersheds until watershed analysis is completed, a site-specific analysis is conducted and described, and the rationale for final Riparian Reserve boundaries is presented through the appropriate National Environmental Policy Act decision-making process.
  2. Key Watersheds: Key Watersheds are a system of large refugia comprising watersheds that are crucial to at-risk fish species and stocks and provide high quality water. The Key Watersheds in the Klamath Falls Resource Area are: Spencer Creek (Tier 1), Clover Creek (Tier 2) and Jenny Creek (Tier 1).
  3. Watershed Analysis: Watershed analysis is a set of procedures for conducting an analysis to evaluate geomorphic and ecologic processes operating within a specific watershed. This analysis should enable watershed planning that achieves the Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. Watershed analysis provides the basis for monitoring and restoration programs and is the foundation from which Riparian Reserves can be delineated. Guidance for conducting watershed analysis is outlined in various other manuals and documents.
  4. Watershed Restoration: Watershed Restoration is a comprehensive, long-term program of restoration to restore watershed health and aquatic ecosystems, including the habitats supporting fish and other aquatic and riparian-dependent organisms.

A. Riparian Reserve Designation

Objectives: To designate an area along streams, lakes, ponds, and other waters for management and protection of riparian-wetland areas and water quality.


(1) Establish Riparian Reserves on streams and water bodies as listed in the table below. To use this table, a) determine if the stream in a proposed activity area is fish bearing; b) determine if the stream is perennial or intermittent (see the Definitions and Proper Functioning Condition section); c) determine if the area is unstable or potentially unstable (this will be a rare designation in the Klamath Falls Resource Area).

Watershed analysis will identify critical hillslope, riparian, and channel processes that must be evaluated in order to delineate Riparian Reserves that assure protection of riparian and aquatic functions. Project-level consideration of these processes and features will be the basis on which site-specific Riparian Reserves are delineated. The Riparian Reserve widths in Table F-1 apply until watershed analysis is completed, a site-specific analysis is conducted and described, and the rationale for final Riparian Reserve boundaries is presented.

Table D-1. Riparian Reserve Widths (in feet).  
Stream/Waterbody/Wetland Type Slope Distance of Riparian Reserve
Fish Bearing Streams 300 feet, or to a distance equal to the eight of two site- potential trees
Perennial, Nonfish-Bearing Streams 150 feet, or to a distance equal to the height of one site- potential tree
Intermittent Streams 100 feet, or to a distance equal to the height of one site potential tree
Constructed Ponds and Reservoirs and Wetlands greater than 1 acre 150 feet, or to a distance equal to the height of one site-potential tree.
Lakes and Natural Ponds 300 feet, or to a distance equal to the height of two site-potential trees
Wetlands less than 1 acre and Unstable and Potentially Unstable Areas The extent of unstable and potentially unstable areas; or the wetland to the outer edges of the riparian vegetation.

A site-potential tree is defined as the average maximum height of the tallest dominant trees (200 years old or more) for a given site class. In the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team report, the average height of site potential trees on forests east of the Cascades was estimated at 110 feet for the purposes of analysis.

Minimum widths of Riparian Reserves are expressed as whichever slope distance is greatest. The widths listed in the table are those that would be applied to one side of the stream. For example, a fish-bearing stream would have a 600 foot buffer (300 feet each side). In addition to these widths, Riparian Reserves must extend from the edges of the active stream channel to the top of the inner gorge, or to the outer edges of the 100-year floodplain, and to the outer edges of riparian vegetation. Wetland, pond and reservoir Riparian Reserves must include the body of water or wetland and the area from the outer edges of the riparian vegetation, or to the extent of seasonally saturated soil, or to the extent of unstable or potentially unstable areas. Reservoir and pond Riparian Reserves are to be measured from the edge of the maximum pool elevation.

(2) Use the following sequence of decisions when establishing Riparian Reserve boundaries:

a. Identify floodplain boundaries The entire 100-year floodplain should be included within the Riparian Reserve. The topographic break in slope between hillsides and the relatively flat floor of the stream valley will define a floodplain boundary. Floodplain soils and substrates are characterized by rounded edges on gravels, cobbles, or boulders as a result of being tumbled by streams. In contrast, hillslope substrates are more sharp and angular. Vegetation may change in age or composition at floodplain boundaries; however, many floodplains have forest vegetation as old or older than hillslope stands. Smaller, incised (downcut) streams and lower order (first, second, and third) streams frequently lack floodplains. Also, floodplains may not exist along non-riverine wetlands and lakes. In the absence of floodplains, historical high water levels should be used (see Section b, below).

b. Locate margins of active channels and shorelines (high water mark) After floodplains (if they exist) have been identified, Riparian Reserves are delineated. Delineation of the Riparian Reserve starts at the edge of the active channel or mean high water level, and extends outward horizontally on both sides. Active channels consist of all portions of the stream channel carrying water at normal high flows, not just the current wetted channel. This includes side channels and backwaters which may not carry water during summer low flow. All islands and gravel bars are included as part of the active channel. Active channel boundaries are indicated by abrupt topographic breaks where frequent channel scour has steepened streambanks. Frequently, plant abundance is reduced in areas of active channel modification, and plant communities are dominated by herbs and forbs. The high water mark is often marked by the vegetative litter carried in high flows and then deposited or caught in live vegetation.

Riparian Reserves around reservoirs, ponds and lakes should be measured from the high water level. This level may be indicated by evidence of erosion by wave action, reduced plant cover, topographic features and sharp transitions in plant community composition.

c. Lay Out Riparian Reserve Boundaries For optimal management of riparian and other resources, Riparian Reserves should have variable widths that are delineated at ecological boundaries, not at arbitrary distances from the stream, lake or wetlands. Riparian-wetland areas are naturally irregular or asymmetrical in shape, in response to local topography, geology, groundwater, and plant communities. Consideration of topographic irregularities can both protect riparian resources and simplify harvest unit layout. Avoid straight, uniform Riparian Reserve boundaries.

B. Riparian Reserve Protection

Objective: To prevent damage to riparian vegetation and disturbance to streambanks, maintain or improve riparian conditions that support water-related functions, protect the natural flow of streams, and preserve nutrient cycling from woody debris.

Practices: No timber harvest will be planned within a Riparian Reserve as part of the sustained yield timber management program. Where catastrophic events such as fire, flooding, wind or insect damage result in degraded riparian conditions, allow salvage and firewood cutting if required to attain Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives. Remove salvage trees only when watershed analysis determines that present and future woody debris needs are met and other Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives are not adversely affected.

Apply silvicultural practices in Riparian Reserves to control stocking, reestablish and manage stands, and acquire desired vegetation characteristics needed to attain Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives (TM-1).

  1. Guidelines for tree harvest and removal in or adjacent to Riparian Reserves are discussed in Riparian Reserves in the Timber Harvest section.
  2. Retain all snags in the Riparian Reserve except where safety or fire hazard dictate removal (RA-2). Guidelines for woody debris in streams are discussed in Riparian Reserves in the Timber Harvest section.
  3. Livestock grazing management in riparian-wetland areas is outlined in Yarding Methods in the Timber Harvest section.
  4. Use interdisciplinary teams to develop riparian enhancement plans for rehabilitation of Riparian Reserves. Placement of large woody debris, creation of snags, planting conifers, or prescribed fire would be used where appropriate for riparian enhancement.
  5. Avoid refueling, equipment maintenance, fuel storage, or other handling of petroleum products or other chemicals in or adjacent to Riparian Reserves.
  6. No slashing, ripping, piling or mechanical site preparation (except for designated skid trail crossings, roads, or yarding corridors) will occur in Riparian Reserves, although riparian-wetland enhancement or wildlife projects can be allowed that consist of these types of activities in order to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives. Other activities, such as mining, livestock grazing, and recreation are to be conducted in Riparian Reserves as described in the Mining, Livestock Grazing, and Recreation and Off-Highway Vehicle Use sections, respectively.
  7. For proposed hydroelectric projects under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, provide timely, written comments regarding maintenance of instream flows and habitat conditions and maintenance/restoration of riparian resources and stream channel integrity. Request the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to locate proposed support facilities outside of Riparian Reserves. For existing support facilities inside Riparian Reserves that are essential to proper management, provide recommendations to the Commission that ensure Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives are met. Where these objectives cannot be met, provide recommendations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that such support facilities should be relocated. Existing support facilities that must be located in Riparian Reserves should be located, operated, and maintained with an emphasis to eliminate adverse effects that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives (LH-2, LH-3).
    For other hydroelectric and surface water development proposals in Tier 1 Key Watersheds, require instream flows and habitat conditions that maintain or restore riparian resources, favorable channel conditions, and fish passage. Coordinate this process with the appropriate state agencies. For other hydroelectric and surface water development proposals in all other watersheds, give priority emphasis to instream flows and habitat conditions that maintain or restore riparian resources, favorable channel conditions, and fish passage. Coordinate this process with the appropriate state agencies (LH-2).
  8. Issue leases, permits, rights-of-way, and easements to avoid adverse effects that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives. Where legally possible, adjust existing leases, permits, rights-of-way, and easements to eliminate adverse effects that retard or prevent the attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives. If adjustments are not effective and where legally possible, eliminate the activity. Priority for modifying existing leases, permits, rights-of-way and easements will be based on the actual or potential impact to and the ecological value of the riparian resources affected (LH-4).
  9. Use land acquisition, exchange, and conservation easements to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives and facilitate restoration of fish stocks and other species at risk of extinction (LH-5).

C. Wetlands

Objective: To maintain the integrity and function of wetlands.


  1. Manage vegetation to protect or enhance wetland areas.
  2. Avoid surface disturbing activities in or adjacent to wetlands.
  3. Avoid operations which would put pollutants into a wetland.
  4. Follow practices outlined in the following sections: Permits under Activity Planning and Design; and Riparian Reserve Designation and Protection under the Riparian Reserves section.

Soil Resource Protection

A. Limiting Detrimental Soil Conditions

Objective: To minimize soil erosion and soil productivity losses.

Practice: The cumulative effects of detrimental soil conditions are not to exceed 20 percent of the total acreage within an activity area (the total area of ground, such as a timber sale unit or a slash treatment area including roads, skid trails, and landings). Detrimental soils conditions include detrimental compaction (see the Definitions and Proper Functioning Condition section), displacement, and creation of adverse cover conditions. Sites where the 20 percent standard is exceeded will require treatment, such as ripping, backblading or seeding.

B. Soil Cover Retention and Establishment

Objective: To retain and establish an adequate vegetative cover on disturbed sites to prevent erosion.


(1) Minimum guidelines for the retention of effective ground cover will be prescribed as outlined in the following table for all soil-disturbing activities. Exceptions to these guidelines may be made due to site-specific resource considerations (for example, brush field scarification projects where bare soil is a specific objective). Effective ground cover is all living or dead herbaceous or woody materials and all rock fragments greater than 0.5 inch in diameter in contact with the ground surface. See Table F-2.

Table D-2. Erosion Potential.    
    Minimum Effective
    Ground Cover (percent)
Soil Surface Erosion Potential General Slope Range (percent) First Year Second Year
Low 0-20 20-30 30-40
Moderal 20-35 30-45 40-60
High 35-50 45-60 60-75
Severe 50+ 60-75 75-90

Soil surface erosion potential can be estimated using a variety of methods (that is, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation—RUSLE). A hydrologist or other knowledgeable resource professional can provide assistance in determining soil surface erosion potential.

(2) Use native vegetation which allows natural succession to occur. Avoid interference with reforestation operations. Include application of seed, mulch, and fertilizer as necessary. Complete prior to fall rains.

C. Retention of Small Woody Material

Objective: To retain small woody (dead and down) material to sustain soil nutrients and a healthy forest ecosystem.

Practice: Where practicable, maintain 10 tons or more of nine-inch diameter or smaller woody material per acre. In ponderosa pine forest land, 9 tons per acre of duff and litter (approximately 1/2 inch deep) and 2.2 tons per acre of material 1/4 to 3 inches in diameter will be maintained. These target loads are designed to meet soil productivity and fire suppression objectives.

Fragile Soils

Objective: To minimize surface disturbance on Timber Production Capability Classification fragile soils.

The best management practices in this section are to be used in addition to those in other sections.

Three categories of fragile soils sensitive to surface disturbing activities are identified in the Klamath Falls Resource Area Timber Production Capability Classification:

Fragile Slope Gradient These sites consist of steep to extremely steep slopes that have a high potential for surface ravel. Gradients commonly range from 60 to greater than 100 percent.
Fragile Mass Movement These sites consist of deep seated, slump, or earth flow types of landslides with undulating topography and slope gradients generally less than 60 percent. Soils are derived from volcanic tuffs or breccias.
Fragile Groundwater These sites have high water tables where water is at or near the soil surface for sufficient periods of time that vegetation survival and growth are affected.

A. Roads

1. Planning

Practice: Avoid fragile soils when planning road systems.

2. Design


  1. Design haul roads with rock surface on Fragile Mass Movement and Fragile Groundwater soils.
  2. Use slotted risers, trash racks, or over-sized culverts to prevent culvert plugging on Fragile Mass Movement soils.

3. Erosion Control

Practice: Stabilize cutbanks on Fragile Mass Movement soils using rock buttressing.

4. Maintenance

Practice: Minimize ditch cleaning on Fragile Mass Movement soils to retard slumping of road and cutbanks.

5. Access Restrictions

Practice: Block unsurfaced roads on fragile soils to prohibit motorized vehicle use.

B. Timber Harvest

1. Yarding Methods - Cable


  1. Use full or partial suspension when yarding on Fragile Slope Gradient and Fragile Groundwater soils.
  2. Restrict yarding and hauling to dry season (generally May 15 to October 15) on Fragile Mass Movement and Fragile Groundwater soils.

2. Yarding Methods - Helicopter

Practice: Employ helicopter yarding to avoid or minimize new road construction on fragile soils.

C. Silviculture

1. Pile Burning

a. Hand Piles


  1. Put slash in yarding corridors on Fragile Slope Gradient soils to control erosion, allowing adequate space to plant trees.
  2. Burn hand piles on Fragile Slope Gradient soils only if they prevent planter access.

b. Machine Piles

Practice: Avoid machine piling or ripping on Fragile Mass Movement and Fragile Groundwater soils.

D. Wildfire and Prescribed Fire

1. Suppression


  1. Apply suppression on fragile soils based on environmental and operational conditions that exist at time of ignition (conditional suppression). Use the Soil Impact Evaluation Worksheet developed for Emergency Fire Situation Analysis to determine the appropriate level of suppression and the risk of adverse impacts from suppression activities.
  2. Limit the use of tractors and other major surface-disturbing activities on all fragile soils.

2. Rehabilitation

Practice: Assure prompt rehabilitation on fragile soils through seeding or planting of native species or species that will quickly establish desired ground cover conditions.

3. Prescribed Fire


  1. Prescribe cool burns and only burn in the spring on Fragile Slope Gradient soils.
  2. Restrict broadcast burns to north slopes on Fragile Slope Gradient soils.


A. Planning

Objective: To plan road systems that meet resource objectives and minimize detrimental impacts on water and soil resources.


  1. Use an interdisciplinary team to develop an overall transportation system and Transportation Management Objectives.
  2. Develop Transportation Management Objectives to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives. As a minimum, Transportation Management Objectives will include provisions for the following activities: during-storm inspections and maintenance; post-storm inspections and maintenance; during road operation and maintenance, giving high priority to the identification and correction of road drainage problems that contribute to degradation of riparian resources; regulation of traffic during wet periods to prevent damage to riparian resources; and establishment of the purpose of each road (RF-7).
  3. Establish Transportation Management Objectives that minimize adverse environmental impacts.
  4. Avoid fragile and unstable areas.
  5. Encourage use of best management practicess where not specifically required in reciprocal right-of-way agreements.
  6. Cooperate with Federal, state, and county agencies to achieve consistency in road design, operation, and maintenance necessary to attain Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives (RF-1).
  7. Complete a watershed analysis (including appropriate geotechnical analyses) prior to any decision to construct a new road in a Riparian Reserve. Reduce existing road mileage in Key Watersheds and/or allow no net increase in road mileage in Key Watersheds (RF-2).
  8. Determine the influence of each road on the Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives thorough watershed analysis. Meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives by: reconstructing roads and associated drainage features that pose a substantial risk; prioritizing reconstruction based on current and potential impact to riparian resources and the ecological value of the riparian resources affected; closing and stabilizing, or obliterating and stabilizing roads based on the ongoing and potential effects to Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives and considering short-term and long-term transportation needs (RF-3).

B. Location

Objective: To minimize soil erosion, water quality degradation, and disturbance of riparian vegetation.


  1. Locate roads away from Riparian Reserves (RF-2).
  2. Locate roads on stable positions (for example, ridges, natural benches, and flatter transitional slopes near ridges and valley bottoms). When crossing unstable areas is necessary, implement additional mitigation measures.
  3. Avoid headwalls, midslope locations on steep unstable slopes, seeps, old landslides, slopes in excess of 60 percent, and areas where the geologic bedding planes or weathering surfaces are inclined with the slope.
  4. Locate roads to minimize heights of cutbanks. Avoid high, steeply sloping cutbanks in highly fractured bedrock.
  5. Locate roads on well-drained soil types. Vary the grade to avoid wet areas.
  6. Locate stream crossing sites where channels are well defined, unobstructed and straight. Minimize the area of road that enters a Riparian Reserve.

C. Design

1. General

Objective: To design the lowest standard of road consistent with use objectives and resource protection needs.


  1. Base road design standards and design criteria on Transportation Management Objectives, such as traffic requirements of the proposed activity, the overall Resource Area transportation plan, economic considerations, safety requirements, resource objectives, and the need to minimize damage to the environment.
  2. Consider future maintenance concerns and needs when designing roads.
  3. Preferred road gradients are 2 to 10 percent with a maximum grade of 15 percent. Consider steeper grades in those situations where they will result in less environmental impact.
  4. Road Surface Configurations
    a. Outsloping - sloping the road prism to the outside edge for surface drainage is normally recommended for local spurs or minor collector roads where low volume traffic and lower traffic speeds are anticipated. It is also recommended in situations where long intervals between maintenance will occur and where minimum excavation is desired. Outsloping is not recommended on gradients greater than 8 to 10 percent (RF-5)
    b. Insloping - sloping the road prism to the inside edge is an acceptable practice on roads with gradients of more than 10 percent and where the underlying soil formation is very rocky and not subject to appreciable erosion or failure.
    c. Crown and Ditch - this configuration is recommended for arterial and collector roads where traffic volume, speed, intensity and user comfort are a consideration. Gradients may range from 2 to 15 percent as long as adequate drainage away from the road surface and ditchlines is maintained.
  5. Minimize excavation through the following actions: use of balance earthwork, narrow road width, and endhauling where slopes are greater than 60 percent.
  6. Locate waste areas suitable for depositing excess excavated material.
  7. Conduct slope rounding on tops of cut slopes in clayey soils to reduce sloughing and surface ravel. Avoid this practice in erosion classes I, II, VII, and VIII (see Table F-3 at the end of this appendix).
  8. Surface roads if they will be subject to traffic during wet weather. The depth and gradation of surfacing will be determined by traffic type, frequency, weight, maintenance objectives, and the stability and strength of the road foundation and surface materials.
  9. Provide vegetative or artificial stabilization of cut and fill slopes in the design process. Avoid establishment of vegetation where it inhibits drainage from the road surface or where it restricts safety or maintenance.
  10. Prior to completion of design drawings, field check the design to assure that it fits the terrain, drainage needs have been satisfied, and all critical slope conditions have been identified and adequate design solutions applied.
  11. Minimize the disruption of natural hydrologic flow paths, including diversion of streamflow and interception of surface and subsurface flow.

2. Surface Cross Drains

Objective: To design road drainage systems that minimize concentrated water volume and velocity and therefore to reduce soil movement and maintain water quality.


  1. Design cross drains in ephemeral or intermittent channels to lay on solid ground rather than on fill material to avoid road failures.
  2. Design placement of all surface cross drains to avoid discharge onto erodible (unprotected) slopes or directly into stream channels. Provide a buffer or sediment basin between the cross drain outlet and the stream channel.
  3. Locate culvert or drainage dips in such a manner to avoid discharge onto unstable terrain such as headwalls, slumps, or block failure zones. Provide adequate spacing to avoid accumulation of water in ditches or surfaces through these areas.
  4. Provide energy dissipators (for example, rock material) at cross drain outlets or drain dips where water is discharged onto loose material or erodible soil or steep slopes.
  5. Place protective rock at culvert entrance to streamline water flow and reduce erosion.
  6. Use the guide for drainage spacing by soil erosion classes and road grade shown in Tables F-3 and F-4 at the end of this appendix.
  7. Use drainage dips in place of culvert on roads which have gradients less than 10 percent or where road management objectives result in blocking roads. Avoid drainage dips on road gradients greater than 10 percent.
  8. Locate drainage dips where water might accumulate or where there is an outside berm which prevents drainage from the roadway.
  9. When sediment is a problem, design cross drainage culverts or drainage dips immediately upgrade of stream crossings to prevent ditch sediment from entering the stream.
  10. Varying gradients is recommended in erodible and unstable soils to reduce surface water volume and velocities and culvert requirements.

3. Permanent Stream Crossings

Objective: To prevent stream crossings from being a direct source of sediment to streams thus minimizing water quality degradation; to provide unobstructed access to spawning and rearing areas for anadromous and resident fish.


  1. Design culverts to provide adult and juvenile fish passage both upstream and downstream. Use pipe arch culverts on most fishery streams. Use bottomless arch culverts and bridges where stream gradients are greater than 5 percent, to accommodate stream discharge, and when the value of the fishery resource dictates special engineering considerations necessary to ensure uninterrupted fish passage. On fish bearing streams, culverts should be placed at a zero (0) percent grade (RF-6).
  2. Use the theoretical 100-year flood (including considerations for bedload and debris) as design criteria for newly-installed culverts, bridges and other stream crossings. On a case-by-case basis, replace existing culverts posing a substantial risk to riparian conditions with a structure designed for a theoretical 100-year flood and one that meets fish passage requirements, if applicable (RF-4).
  3. Minimize the number of crossings on any particular stream.
  4. Where feasible, design culvert placement on a straight reach of stream to minimize erosion at both ends of the culvert. Design adequate steam bank protection (for example, rip-rap) where scouring would occur. Avoid locations that require a stream channel to be straightened beyond the length of a culvert to facilitate installation of a road crossing.

4. Temporary Stream Crossings

Objective: To design temporary stream crossings that minimize disturbance of the stream and riparian environment.


  1. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a temporary versus permanent crossing structure for access to the area during all seasons over the long term in terms of economics, maintenance, and resource requirements.
  2. Design temporary structures such as pre-fab temporary timber bridges, multiple culverts with minimum fill height, cattleguard crossings, or log cribs to keep vehicles out of the stream.
  3. Minimize the number of temporary crossings on a particular stream.
  4. Avoid temporary stream crossings on fishery streams during spawning, hatching and migration.

5. Low Water Ford Stream Crossings

Objective: To design low water fords that minimize disturbance of the stream and riparian environment.

Practice: Use only when site conditions make it impractical or uneconomical to utilize a permanent or temporary crossing structure.

D. Construction

Objective: To create a stable roadway while minimizing soil erosion and potential water quality degradation.

1. Roadway Construction


  1. Limit road construction to the dry season (generally between May 15 and October 15). When conditions permit operations at the limits of the dry season, keep erosion control measures current with ground disturbance, to the extent that the affected area can be rapidly closed/blocked and weatherized if weather conditions warrant.
  2. Manage road construction so that any construction can be completed and bare soil can be protected and stabilized prior to fall rains.
  3. Confine preliminary equipment access (pioneer roads) to within the roadway construction limits.
  4. Construct pioneer roads so as to prevent undercutting of the designated final cutslope and prevent avoidable deposition of materials outside the designated roadway limits. Conduct slope rounding at the first opportunity during construction to avoid excess amounts of soil being moved after excavation and embankment operations are completed.
  5. Use controlled blasting techniques that minimize amount of material displaced from road location.
  6. Construct embankments, including waste disposal sites, of appropriate materials (no slash or other organic matter) using one or more of the following methods:

    a. layer placement (tractor compaction),
    b. layer placement (roller compaction),
    c. controlled compaction (85 to 95 percent maximum density).

    Slash and organic material may remain under waste embankment areas outside the road prism and outside units planned for broadcast burning.
  7. Avoid sidecasting where it will adversely affect water quality or weaken stabilized slopes. Place excavated material away from Riparian Reserves.
  8. Place surface drainage prior to fall rains.
  9. Clear drainage ditches and natural watercourses of woody material deposited by construction or logging above culverts prior to fall rains.

2. Permanent Stream Crossing Construction


  1. Confine culvert installation to the low flow period (generally June 15 to September 15) to minimize sedimentation and the adverse effects of sediment on aquatic life.
  2. Divert the stream around the work area to minimize downstream sedimentation during construction. After construction, the return the stream to its natural channel. Ensure, through proper construction and maintenance, that the stream will remain in its natural channel in the event of crossing failure.
  3. Install culverts as close to zero percent slope as possible on fishery streams but not to exceed 0.5 percent. Place culverts in the streambed at the existing slope gradient on larger non-fishery streams. Place energy dissipators (for example, large rock) at the outfall of culverts on small nonfishery streams to reduce water velocity and minimize scour at the outlet end.
  4. Countersink culverts 6 to 8 inches below the streambed to minimize scouring at the outlet. Increase culvert diameters accordingly.
  5. Limit activities of mechanized equipment in the stream channel to the area necessary for installation.
  6. Place permanent stream crossing structures on fishery streams before heavy equipment moves beyond the crossing area. Where this is not feasible, install temporary crossings to minimize stream disturbance.
  7. Place rip-rap on fills around culvert inlets and outlets.

3. Temporary Stream Crossing Construction


  1. Where possible, limit the installation and removal of temporary crossing structures to once during the same year and within the prescribed work period. Installation and removal should occur during the low flow period (generally June 15 to September 15).
  2. Use backfill material that is as soil-free as practicable over temporary culverts. Whenever possible use washed river rock covered by pit run or one inch minus as a compacted running surface.
  3. Spread and reshape clean fill material to the original lines of the streambed after a crossing is removed to ensure the stream remains in its channel during high flow.
  4. Use log cribbing in tractor logging units when it is impractical to use a culvert and rock backfill material. Remove upon completion of logging the unit.
  5. Limit activities of mechanized equipment in the stream channel to the area that is necessary for installation and removal operations.
  6. Remove stream crossing drainage structures and in-channel fill material during low flow and prior to fall rains. Reestablish natural drainage configuration.

4. Low Water Ford Stream Crossing Construction


  1. Restrict construction and use to low flow period (generally June 15 to September 15).
  2. Use washed rock/gravel or concrete slab in the crossing.
  3. Apply rock on road approaches within 150 feet of each side of the ford to prevent washing and softening of the road surface.

E. Soil Resource Protection

Objective: To limit and mitigate soil erosion and sedimentation.


  1. Apply protective measures to all areas of disturbed, erosion-prone, unprotected ground, including waste disposal sites, prior to fall rains. Protective measures may include water bars, grass seeding, planting deep rooted vegetation, and/or mulching. Armor or buttress fill slopes and unstable areas with rock which meets construction specifications. Revegetation with native species is preferred, except where overriding concerns to reduce sediment dictate the use of annuals or other quickly establishing species.
  2. Use seasonal restrictions on unsurfaced roads.
  3. Remove snow on haul roads in a manner which will protect roads and adjacent resources. Remove or place snow berms to prevent water concentration on the roadway or on erodible sideslopes or soils.

F. Road Renovation/Improvement

Objective: To restore or improve a road to a desired standard in a manner that minimizes sediment production and water quality degradation.


  1. Improve flat gradients to a minimum of two percent or provide raised subgrade sections (turnpike) to avoid saturation of the road prism.
  2. Reconstruct culvert catchbasins to specifications. Catchbasins in solid rock need not be reconstructed provided water flow is not restricted by soil, rock, or other debris.
  3. Identify potential water problems caused by off-site disturbance and add necessary drainage facilities.
  4. Identify ditchline and outlet erosion caused by excessive flows and add necessary drainage facilities and armoring.
  5. Replace undersized culverts and repair damaged culverts and downspouts.
  6. Add additional full-rounds, half-rounds, and energy dissipators as needed.
  7. Correct special drainage problems (for example, high water table, seeps) that affect stability of subgrade through the use of perforated drains, geotextiles, or drainage bays.
  8. Eliminate undesirable berms that retard normal surface runoff.
  9. Restore outslope or crown sections.
  10. Avoid disturbing backslope while reconstructing ditches.
  11. Surface inadequately surfaced roads that are to be left open to traffic during wet weather.
  12. Require roadside brushing be done in a manner that prevents disturbance to root systems (such as, avoid using excavators for brushing).
  13. Prioritize reconstruction and maintenance based on current and potential impacts to Riparian Reserves.

G. Road Maintenance

Objective: To maintain roads in a manner that protects water quality and minimizes erosion and sedimentation.


  1. Provide basic custodial care to protect the road investment and to ensure minimal damage to adjacent land and resources. Repair erosion in its early stages.
  2. Perform blading and shaping to conserve existing surface material, retain the original crowned or outsloped self-draining cross section, prevent or remove rutting berms (except those designed for slope protection) and other irregularities that retard normal surface runoff. Avoid wasting loose ditch or surface material over the shoulder where it can cause stream sedimentation or weaken slump prone areas. Avoid undercutting backslopes.
  3. Keep road inlet and outlet ditches, catchbasins, and culverts free of obstructions, particularly before and after winter snowfall and spring runoff. However, hold routine machine cleaning of ditches to a minimum during wet weather.
  4. Grading operations are to be conducted to prevent sedimentation and to dispose of surface water without ponding or concentrating water flow in unprotected channels. Schedule grading operations during time periods of the least erosion hazard (generally during the dry season, May 15 to October 15).
  5. Retain vegetation on cut slopes and ditches unless it poses a safety hazard or restricts maintenance activities. Cut roadside vegetation rather than pulling it out and disturbing the soil.
  6. Inspect areas subject to road or watershed damage during periods of high runoff.

H. Dust Abatement

Objective: To minimize movement of fine sediment from roads; to prevent introduction into waterways of chemicals applied for dust abatement.


  1. Use dust palliatives or surface stabilizers to reduce surfacing material loss and buildup of fine sediment that may wash off into water courses.
  2. Closely control application of dust palliatives and surface stabilizers, equipment cleanup, and disposal of excess material to prevent contamination or damage to water resources.

I. Access Restrictions

Objective: To reduce road surface damage and therefore minimize erosion and sedimentation.


  1. Barricade or block roads using gates, guard rails, earth/log barricades, boulders, logging debris, or a combination of these methods. Avoid blocking roads that will need future maintenance (that is, culverts, potential slides, etc.) with unremovable barricades. Use guardrails, gates, or other barricades capable of being opened for roads needing future maintenance.
  2. Provide maintenance of blocked roads in accordance with design criteria.
  3. Install waterbars, cross drains, cross sloping, or drainage dips if not already on road to assure drainage.
  4. Scarify, mulch (weed free), and/or seed with native species for erosion control.

J. Obliteration of Roads and Landings

Objective: To minimize or reduce sedimentation and improve site productivity by obliterating roads and landings and rehabilitating the land.


  1. Rip temporary spur roads and landings by an approved method to remove ruts, berms, and ditches while leaving or replacing surface cross drain structures.
  2. Return roads or landings not needed for future resource management to resource production through ripping and/or revegetation with native species. Apply weed free mulch and fertilizer where appropriate.

K. Reclamation of Rock Quarries

Objective: To minimize sediment production from quarries and associated crusher pad developments susceptible to erosion due to steep sideslopes, lack of vegetation, or their proximity to water courses.


  1. Prior to excavation, remove topsoil and place at a site with minimal erosion potential. Stockpile topsoil for surface dressing during the post-operation rehabilitation.
  2. Use culverts and rip-rap for crusher pad drainage when necessary.
  3. Stabilize quarry sides and general quarry area consistent with objectives for others resources, such as recreation and wildlife.
  4. Revegetate with native species, apply weed free mulch, and provide adequate drainage to minimize erosion.
  5. Rip, waterbar, block, fertilize and revegetate roads to quarries where no future entry is planned.

Timber Harvest

A. Riparian Reserves

1. General Guidelines

See the discussions under Riparian Reserve Designation and Protection in the Riparian Reserves section.

2. Tree Felling Adjacent to Streams or Riparian Reserves

Objective: To prevent damage to riparian vegetation, disturbance of streambanks, and accumulation of slash in stream channels.


  1. Directionally fell trees away from Riparian Reserves when harvesting within a tree length of any stream or Riparian Reserve.
  2. Where feasible, leave in place unbucked and unlimbed any trees felled within a Riparian Reserve, consistent with management for fish habitat.

3. Yarding Across Riparian Reserves

Objective: To prevent damage to riparian vegetation, disturbance of streambanks, and accumulation of slash in stream channels.


  1. Avoid yarding through Riparian Reserves when possible.
  2. Designate yarding corridors prior to yarding.
  3. Minimize number and width of yarding corridors. The maximum width of any corridor will be 30 feet. No more than 25 percent of the overstory canopy within the corridor will be removed to facilitate yarding operations.
  4. Leave vegetation in Riparian Reserves that is cut for yarding corridors to meet stream and riparian objectives. Consider falling conifers into the stream and leaving them to contribute to the stream ecosystem.
  5. During cable yarding operations across Riparian Reserves, obtain complete suspension of logs over streambanks (or one end suspension if complete suspension is not possible).
  6. Do not place skid trails in Riparian Reserves except at designated crossings. Where feasible, locate skid trails perpendicular to Riparian Reserves and stream channels. Avoid tractor yarding across fishery streams and associated Riparian Reserves. All skid trails that enter Riparian Reserves will be seeded with native species after use or prior to first rains, whichever comes first.
  7. Install temporary stream crossings across Riparian Reserves of nonfishery streams prior to tractor yarding operations. Select stable, naturally armored areas. Minimize the area of disturbance. Use a culvert and clean rock or logs for temporary stream crossings. Install during low flows and remove prior to fall rains in the same season.

4. Woody Debris in Streams

Objective: To protect the natural flow of streams, to provide unobstructed passage of storm flows, and to preserve nutrient cycling from woody debris.


  1. Avoid removal of down trees or logs in stream channels and Riparian Reserves.
  2. Remove excessive concentrations of logging slash from all streams prior to fall rains and place above high water mark.
  3. Remove all logging slash in streams resulting from the current timber sale for a distance of 100 feet above culverts. Hand pile slash above high water mark.

5. Landings Near Riparian Reserves

Objective: To preclude damage to Riparian Reserve vegetation and to prevent sediment or pollutants from entering stream channels.

Practice: Avoid locating landings and helicopter service pads within 50 feet of Riparian Reserves.

B. Yarding Methods

1. General Guidelines

Conditions outlined in the Soil Resource Protection section will be met.

2. Cable

Objective: To minimize soil damage and erosion caused by displacement or compaction.


  1. Cable yard when average slopes exceed 35 percent.
  2. Use full or partial suspension when yarding on erodible or ravel prone areas where practical.
  3. Use full or partial suspension with seasonal restrictions on areas of high water tables.
  4. Use seasonal restriction if required suspension cannot be achieved by yarding equipment.
  5. Avoid downhill yarding.

3. Tractor

Objective: To minimize loss of soil productivity and reduce potential for surface runoff and subsequent water quality degradation.


  1. In previously unentered stands, use designated skid roads to limit soil compaction to 12 percent or less of the harvest area.
  2. In previously entered stands, inventory existing soil compaction and design proposed management activities to mitigate or avoid reductions in soil productivity. Utilize existing skid roads. On most timber harvest units, establish a network of permanent, designated skid trails not to exceed 12 percent of an activity area. Where feasible, rip all skid roads used in final entry harvest or roads not needed as part of the network of permanent, designated skid roads.
  3. Rip skid roads discontinuously, preferably with winged ripper teeth when the soil is dry (generally 15-20 percent or less soil moisture content at a six inch depth). Rips should be spaced no more than 36 inches apart and from 12 to 18 inches deep or to bedrock, whichever is shallower. Subsoiling should generally result in 80 percent of the compacted zone being fractured with 80 percent of the fractured soil material as clods of less than six inches in size.
  4. Minimize the width of skid roads.
  5. Avoid placement of skid roads through areas with high water tables.
  6. Use appropriate seasonal restrictions that would result in no off-site damage from designated skid roads. Operation on both new and existing skid roads will minimize soil displacement and will occur when soil moisture content provides the most resistance to compaction.
  7. Allow logging on snow whenever practicable when snow depths average 20 inches or greater and negligible ground surface exposure occurs during the operation. Logging on frozen ground may also be allowed when the ground is frozen to a depth of 6 inches.
  8. Restrict tractor operations to slopes less than 35 percent.
  9. Construct waterbars on skid roads according to guidelines in this section under Waterbars.
  10. Consider end-lining and felling to the lead to minimize the effects of tractor yarding.

4. Helicopter

Objective: To minimize surface disturbance.

Practice: Employ helicopter yarding to avoid or minimize new road construction in high risk watersheds, on steep slopes, or in other areas with resource concerns, where practicable.

5. Horse

Objective: To minimize soil disturbance, soil compaction, and soil erosion.


  1. Limit horse logging to slopes less than 20 percent.
  2. Construct hand waterbars on horse skid trails according to guidelines in the Timber Harvest section under Waterbars.
  3. Limit harvest activity to times when soil moisture content at a six-inch depth is generally less than 15 to 20 percent by weight.

C. Use of a Mechanical Harvester

Objective: To minimize soil disturbance, soil compaction, and soil erosion.

Practice: Mechanical harvesting will generally meet the following minimal conditions:

a. Operations will be restricted to dry conditions (generally less than 15 to 20 percent soil moisture by weight).

b. The lowest ground pressure machine capable of meeting objectives will be used when available.

c. Conditions outlined in the Soil Resource Protection and this section under Yarding Methods, Cable, will be met.

D. Landings

Objective: To minimize soil disturbance, soil erosion, soil productivity losses and water quality degradation.


  1. Minimize the size and number of landings.
  2. Locate landings at approved sites.
  3. Avoid placing landings adjacent to or in meadows or other wetland areas.
  4. Clear or excavate landings to minimum size needed for safe and efficient operations.
  5. Select landing locations considering the least amount of excavation, erosion potential, and where sidecast will not enter drainages or damage other sensitive areas.
  6. Deposit excess excavated material on stable sites where there is no erosion potential. Construct waste disposal sites according to guidelines in the Roads Section, under Construction, Roadway Construction, number 6.
  7. Restore landings to the natural configuration or shape to direct the runoff to preselected spots where water can be dispersed to natural, well-vegetated, gentle ground.

E. Waterbars

Objective: To minimize soil erosion and soil productivity losses.


  1. Construct adequate waterbars on roads, spurs, skid roads, yarding corridors, and fire lines prior to fall rains.
  2. For waterbar spacing, based on gradient and erosion class, use Table F-5.
  3. Use the following techniques to construct waterbars:
    a. Open the downslope end of the waterbar to allow free passage of water.
    b. Construct the waterbar so that it will not deposit water where it will cause erosion.
    c. Compact the waterbar berm to prevent water from breaching the berm.
    d. Skew waterbars no more than 30 degrees from perpendicular to the centerline of the trail or road.
Table D-5. Water Bar Spacing (in feet)1  
    Erosion Class2
Gradient (percent) High Moderate Low
3-5 200 300 400
6-10 150 200 300
11-15 100 150 200
16-20 75 100 150
21-35 50 75 100
36+ 50 50 50
1 Spacing is determined by slope distance and is the maximum allowed for the grade.

2 The following guide lists rock types according to erosion class:

High: granite, sandstone, andesite porphyry, glacial or alluvial deposits, soft matrix conglomerte, volcanic ash, pyroclastics;
Moderate: basalt, andesite, quartzite, hard matrix conglomerate, rhyolite;


A. Site Preparation

1. Slashing

Objective: To prevent damage to riparian vegetation, disturbance of streambanks, and accumulation of slash in stream channels.


  1. No slashing within Riparian Reserves.
  2. Directionally fell trees away from Riparian Reserves when slashing within a tree length of any stream or Riparian Reserve, except in cases where trees must be yarded across Riparian Reserves. In this instance, full tree yard to the lead.

2. Gross Yarding

Objective: To achieve a cool burn on sensitive soils and maintain protective duff layer.

Practice: Consider the following in writing a prescription for gross yarding to reduce burn intensities: long-term site productivity, ecosystem dynamics, regeneration success, prescribed fire intensities, and smoke emissions.

3. Broadcast Burning

See the Wildfire and Prescribed Fire section.

4. Piling

a. Hand Piling

Objective: To protect Riparian Reserves and stream channels and to prevent soil damage due to high burn intensity.


  1. Minimize the number and size of piles within designated Riparian Reserves.
  2. Burn piles when soil and duff moisture are high.

b. Tractor Piling

Objective: To protect Riparian Reserves and soil productivity and to prevent soil damage due to compaction, displacement, and high burn intensity.


  1. Where practicable, avoid tractor piling by requiring the removal and utilization of excessive biomass and residual slash, subject to guidelines in the Soil Resource Protection section, under Retention of Small Woody Debris.
  2. No piles or tractor operations within Riparian Reserves.
  3. Restrict tractor operations to dry conditions with generally less than 15-20 percent soil moisture content in the upper six inches of soil.
  4. Restrict tractors to slopes less than 35 percent.
  5. Construct small diameter piles or pile in windrows using brush blades.
  6. Avoid piling concentrations of large logs and stumps.
  7. Pile small material (3 to 8 inches diameter size).
  8. Avoid displacement of duff and topsoil into piles or windrows.
  9. Make only two machine passes (one round trip) over the same area wherever practicable.
  10. Use the lowest ground pressure machine capable of meeting objectives.
  11. Burn piles when soil and duff moisture are high.
  12. Rip entire area to maintain soil productivity except that occupied by piles. Use winged ripper teeth and rip on contour to minimum depth of 12 inches. Minimize ripping on clayey soils.
  13. Use alternative equipment or techniques for site preparation or slash treatment, such as excavators to pile slash or low ground pressure chippers, to minimize compaction.
  14. Conditions outlined in the Soil Resource Protection section will be met.

B. Fertilization

Objective: To protect water quality.


  1. Avoid aerial application when wind speeds would cause drift.
  2. Locate heliports and storage areas away from stream channels.
  3. No application within 100 feet of perennial streams or water bodies which have beneficial use(s) recognized by the state.
  4. Avoid direct application to intermittent streams or channels without beneficial use(s) recognized by the state.

C. Precommercial Thinning

Objective: To protect Riparian Reserves.


  1. Fell trees away from streams.
  2. No cutting within Riparian Reserves excluded from timber harvest except to meet Riparian Reserve management objectives.

D. Brushing

Objective: To minimize soil erosion.

Practice: Maintain soil cover conditions outlined in the Soil Resource Protection section by scattering limbs and debris from the brushing operation over the treated areas.

Firewood Program

A. Roads

Objective: To prevent erosion and water quality degradation.


  1. Seasonally restrict firewood cutting if access is by an unsurfaced road.
  2. Clean all road surfaces, ditches, and catchbasins of debris from wood cutting.

B. Harvest

1. Riparian Reserves

Objective: To prevent damage to riparian vegetation, disturbance of streambanks, and accumulation of slash in stream channels.


  1. Follow practices identified in the Timber Harvest section, under Riparian Reserves.
  2. Do not permit firewood cutting in Riparian Reserves except to meet watershed, wildlife habitat, or Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

2. Yarding Methods

Objective: To minimize soil damage and soil erosion.

Practice: Follow practices listed in the Timber Harvest section, under Riparian Reserves and Yarding Methods.

Wildfire and Prescribed Fire

A. Prevention

Objective: To minimize occurrence of severe intensity wildfires in Riparian Reserves, on erosion-susceptible soils, and in high risk watersheds.


  1. Utilize prescribed burning to reduce both natural and activity slash (fuel) adjacent to and/or within these areas.
  2. Design fuel treatment and fire suppression strategies, practices, and activities to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives, and to minimize disturbance of riparian ground cover and vegetation. Strategies should recognize the role of fire in ecosystem function and identify those instances where fire suppression or fuel management activities could be damaging to long-term ecosystem function (FM-1).
  3. Design prescribed burn projects and prescriptions to contribute to attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives (FM-4).

B. Suppression

Objective: To minimize water quality degradation while achieving rapid and safe suppression of a wildfire.


  1. Use the Soil and Water Resources Impact Evaluation Worksheets during Emergency Fire Situation Analysis to determine appropriate suppression methods.
  2. Apply intensive and conditional suppression in high-risk watersheds and conditional suppression in Riparian Reserves. In Riparian Reserves, the goal of wildfire suppression is to limit the size of all wildfires. When watershed and/or landscape analysis, or province-level plans are completed and approved, some natural fires may be allowed to burn under prescribed conditions. Rapidly extinguishing smoldering coarse woody debris and duff should be considered to preserve these ecosystem elements (FM-other).
  3. Locate incident bases, camps, helibases, staging areas, helispots and other centers for incident activities outside of Riparian Reserves. If the only suitable location for such activities is within an Riparian Reserve, an exemption may be given following a review and recommendation by a resource advisor. The advisor will prescribe the location, use conditions, and rehabilitation requirements. Utilize an interdisciplinary team to predetermine suitable incident base and helibase locations (FM-2).
  4. Exclude tractors within Riparian Reserves. Limit use of heavy equipment near Riparian Reserves, on slopes greater than 35 percent, and in high-risk watersheds. Where fire trail entry into a Riparian Reserve is essential, angle the approach rather than have it perpendicular to the Riparian Reserve.
  5. Minimize delivery of chemical retardant, foam, or additives to surface waters. An exception may be warranted in situations where overriding immediate safety imperatives exist, or, following review and recommendation by a resource advisor, when an escape would cause more long-term damage. Apply aerial retardant adjacent to Riparian Reserves by making passes parallel to Riparian Reserves (FM-3).

C. Rehabilitation

Objective: To protect water quality and soil productivity with consideration for other resources.


  1. Utilize information from burned area surveys to determine if watershed emergency fire rehabilitation is needed.
  2. Develop a fire rehabilitation plan through an interdisciplinary process. Whenever Riparian Reserves are significantly damaged by a wildfire or a prescribed fire burning out of prescription, immediately establish an emergency team to develop a rehabilitation treatment plan needed to obtain Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives (FM-5).
  3. Select treatments on the basis of on-site values, downstream values, soil erosion potential, probability of successful implementation, social and environmental considerations (including protection of native plant communities), and cost as compared to benefits.
  4. Examples of emergency fire rehabilitation treatments are listed below. Other examples are listed in BLM Manual Handbook 9188-1.
    • Seed grasses or other vegetation as needed to provide a protective cover as quickly as possible, using native species whenever practicable;
    • Mulch with weed free straw or other suitable material;
    • Fertilize;
    • Place channel stabilization structures;
    • Construct waterbars on firelines;
    • Place log erosion barriers (contour-felled and anchored trees).

D. Prescribed Fire

1. General Guidelines

Objective: To maintain long-term site productivity of soil.


  1. Evaluate the need for burning based on soils, plant community, hazard reduction objectives, site ecology and site preparation criteria. Burn under conditions when a light to moderate-intensity burn can be achieved (see Table F-6) except when ecosystem management objectives dictate achievement of a burn of higher intensity.
  2. Conditions outlined in the Soil Resource Protection section will be met.
Table D-6. Guidelines for Levels of Burn Intensity  
Visual Characterization Site-Specific Results Proportional Area
Light Burn Duff, crumbled wood or other woody debris is partly burned, logs not deeply charred. Less than 2 percent is severely burned. Less than 15 percent is moderately burned.
Moderate burn Duff, rotten wood, or other woody debris partially to mostly consumed; logs may be deeply charred but but mineral soil under the ash is not appreciably changed in color. Less than 10 percent is severely burned. More than 15 percent is moderately burned.
Severe Burn Top layer of mineral soil significantly changed in color, usually to reddish color; next 1/2 inch blackened from organic matter charring by heat conducted through top layer. More than 10 percent is severely burned. More than 80 percent is moderately burned. Remainder is lightly burned.

2. Riparian Reserves

Objective: To maintain a healthy riparian zone and water quality by minimizing erosion levels within Riparian Reserves.


  1. Hand piling and burning will be the preferred fuel treatment within 100 feet of Riparian Reserves. Design prescribed fire projects to contribute to the attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives and to minimize disturbance of riparian ground cover and vegetation.
  2. When an Riparian Reserve is within a burn unit and conditions warrant, only low intensity fire will be prescribed within 100 feet of Riparian Reserves. No intentional ignition will occur within 50 feet of Riparian Reserves except where watershed, wildlife habitat or riparian-wetland enhancement is the objective. Fires will be allowed to "back into" Riparian Reserves as long as a primarily light intensity burn is maintained.

3. Firelines

Objective: To minimize soil disturbance, soil compaction, soil erosion, and disturbance to Riparian Reserves.


  1. Construct firelines by hand on all slopes greater than 35 percent.
  2. Utilize one-pass construction with a brush blade or one edge of a tractor blade to construct tractor firelines, or construct firelines by hand.
  3. Construct waterbars on tractor and hand firelines according to guidelines in the Timber Harvest section, under Waterbars.
  4. No machine constructed firelines in Riparian Reserves.


Objective: To protect surface and groundwater quality and to minimize disturbance to soils, streambanks and riparian habitat within constraints of Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management surface mining regulations (43 Code of Federal Regulations 3809). Reclamation guidance can be found in the Draft BLM Reclamation Handbook H-3042-1.

A. General Guidelines—All Mining Operations

Objective: To mitigate impacts resulting from disturbances associated with mining and minerals leasing activities, as appropriate, in addition to the guidelines listed below (B through E).


  1. Steep Slopes The Authorized Officer will approve an engineering or reclamation plan prior to disturbance of slopes over 60 percent. This plan could encompass the following: restoration of site productivity, adequate control of surface runoff; protection on off-site areas from accelerated erosion, such as rilling, gullying, piping, and mass wasting; surface-disturbing activities would not be conducted during extended wet periods; construction would not be allowed when soils are frozen.
  2. Topsoil Strip, stockpile, and protect from erosion all productive topsoil (usually the top 12 to 18 inches) from all excavations for use in future reclamation. Remove topsoil before the establishment of mining waste dumps and tailings ponds if the waste material is to be left in place during reclamation. Do not mix subsoil with topsoil. Control erosion of stockpiles through appropriate construction design with mulching (using weed free mulch) and/or revegetation with native species. Whenever possible, do not store topsoil for extended periods (over two years). Protect topsoil removed from the site by applying it to the areas of disturbance outside the working area and reseed.
  3. Seedbed Preparation Soils should be ripped or disked to a depth of at least 6 inches in rocky areas and at least 12 inches in less rocky areas. Contours should be followed to limit erosion. All stockpiled settling pond fines, and then topsoil, are then spread evenly over the disturbed areas.
  4. Roads and Trails Use existing roads and trails as much as possible. Construct roads to standards outlined in the Roads section. In areas designated as closed to off-highway vehicle use, do not allow off-road use of vehicles or equipment without the approval of the Authorized Officer. After mining is completed, reclaim all new roads unless otherwise specified. Knock down or backfill high walls and cutbanks to blend with the surrounding landscape. Remove all culverts and cut back fill to the original channel. Rip the roadbed to a minimum depth of 12 inches and waterbar, seed, fertilize, and/or mulch as necessary.
  5. Drill Sites Locate exploratory drill sites next to or on existing roads when possible. Install erosion control structures (berms, dikes, trenches, outslope fill) under qualified supervision and take all precautions necessary to ensure their stability. The minimum area required for construction will be graded and cleared. Use special design measures, on a case-by-case basis, for new cut and fill slopes where moderate to high erosion hazards exist.
  6. Wells Recontour and rehabilitate all areas not needed for production on well pads following the drilling phase for each well. Recontouring means shaping the disturbed area so that it will blend with the surrounding lands and minimize the possibility of erosion. While in operation, and during periods of temporary shutdown, protect exposed ground surfaces susceptible to erosion by stabilization, seeding, mulching, or installation of water diversions and routine watering of dust producing surfaces. Case and cement wells placed in freshwater aquifers. Remove drainage structures and associated fill dirt to the extent necessary to pass expected flood flows when obliterating well pads. Where practicable, backfill excavations and reduce high walls. Prepare an adequate seedbed while recontouring. Rip or disc compacted soils, following the contour of the land.
  7. Settling Ponds Line ponds to prevent groundwater contamination. Allow tailings and settling ponds to dry out. Remove the fines and spread them evenly over disturbed areas, unless they contain toxic materials, which would be disposed of accordingly. Spread topsoil evenly over the fines. Backfill and reclaim settling and tailings ponds, unless they are suitable for another purpose, such as wildlife habitat or recreation.

B. Riparian Reserves

Note: Practices 1 through 4 apply to any proposed locatable mining operation, other than notice level or casual use, located in Riparian Reserves.


  1. Prepare a Plan of Operations, including a reclamation plan and reclamation bond for all mining operations in Riparian Reserves. Such plans and bonds will address the costs of removing facilities, equipment, and materials; recontouring of disturbed areas to an approved topography; isolating and neutralizing or removing toxic or potentially toxic material; salvaging and replacing topsoil; and revegetating to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives (MM-1).
  2. Locate structures, support facilities, and roads outside Riparian Reserves. Use existing roadways whenever possible. If no alternative to siting facilities in Riparian Reserves exists, locate in a way compatible with Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. Road construction will be kept to the minimum necessary for the approved mineral activity. Roads will be constructed and maintained to meet road management standards and to minimize damage to resources in Riparian Reserves. When a road is no longer required for mineral or land management activities, it will be reclaimed. In any case, access roads will be constructed consistent with 43 Code of Federal Regulations 3809 and acceptable road construction standards and will minimize damage to resources in Riparian Reserves (MM-2).
  3. Avoid locating solid and sanitary waste facilities in Riparian Reserves. If no alternative to locating mine waste (waste rock, spent ore, tailings) facilities in Riparian Reserves exists, if releases can be prevented, and if stability can be ensured, then:

    a. Analyze the waste material using the best conventional sampling methods and analytic techniques to determine its chemical and physical stability characteristics.

    b. Locate and design the waste facilities using best conventional techniques to ensure mass stability and prevent the release of acid or toxic materials. If the best conventional tech- nology is not sufficient to prevent such releases and ensure stability over the long term, prohibit such facilities in Riparian Reserves.

    c. Reclaim waste facilities after operations to ensure chemical and physical stability and to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

    d. Monitor waste and waste facilities after operations to ensure chemical and physical stability and to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

    e. Require reclamation bonds adequate to ensure chemical and physical stability and to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

  4. Where an existing operator is in noncompliance at the notice level (that is, causing unnecessary or undue degradation), require actions similar to those in (3) above to meet the intent of 43 Code of Federal Regulations 3809 regulations.
  5. For future leasable mineral activity in Riparian Reserves, prohibit surface occupancy for oil, gas and geothermal exploration and development activities unless it can be demonstrated that impacts will be acceptable or can be mitigated so that the objectives of the Aquatic Conservation Strategy can be met. Where possible, adjust the stipulations in existing leases to eliminate impacts that retard or prevent the attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives, consistent with existing lease terms and stipulations.
  6. Allow development of salable minerals, such as sand and gravel, within Riparian Reserves only if Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives can be met.
  7. Develop mitigating measures to prevent water quality degradation and to comply with Executive Order 11190 for wetlands. Require mining activities including road construction to conform with best management practices listed in other sections to protect water quality.
  8. Develop inspection and monitoring requirements and include such requirements in exploration and mining plans and in leases or permits consistent with existing laws and regulations. Evaluate the results of inspection and monitoring to determine if modification of plans, leases and permits is needed to eliminate impacts that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

C. Locatable Operations


  1. Permits. Require the claimant to obtain all required state and federal operating permits. When mining will be in or near bodies of water or sediment will be discharged, the Department of Environmental Quality will be contacted. It is the operator's responsibility to obtain any needed suction dredging, stream bed alteration, or water discharge permits required by the Department of Environmental Quality or other agencies. Copies of such permits will be provided to the Area Manager if a notice or plan of operations is filed.
  2. Suction Dredging. Comply with seasonal restrictions on suction dredging identified in Oregon Guidelines for Timing of In-Water Work to Protect Fish and Wildlife Resources. A notice or plan of operations is required for any suction dredge operation where the dredge is equipped with a suction intake hose diameter of greater than four inches. A notice or plan of operations is also required for all suction dredge operations involving more than one dredge, regardless of size. The operator must have the applicable Department of Environmental Quality suction dredge permit prior to starting work, and a copy should be submitted to the Area Manager.
  3. Settling Ponds. Settling ponds must be used to contain fines and any discharge into waters of the state must meet the Department of Environmental Quality standards. Locate, design, operate, and maintain sediment settling ponds in conformance with the Department of Environmental Quality requirements.
  4. Stream Crossings. Design, locate, and construct stream crossings in conformance with practices described under Location, Design, and Construction in the Roads section.
  5. Use existing roads, skid trails, and stream crossings whenever possible.
  6. Roads. Temporary roads are to be constructed to a minimum width and with minimum cuts and fills. All roads will be constructed so as not to negatively impact slope stability. Where resource conditions warrant, apply rock to roads constructed or reconstructed for vehicular access to the mining area. Provide adequate drainage for roads.
  7. Roads Prior to the first wet season, rip, waterbar, seed with native species, mulch (weed free), and barricade according to BLM specifications all roads and trails constructed for exploratory purposes that are unnecessary for the mining operation.
  8. Roads Construct waterbars and barricade on all natural surface roads and trails when an operation shuts down for the wet season.
  9. Rip, waterbar, seed, mulch, and barricade all natural surface roads and trails when the operation terminates, unless otherwise directed by the Authorized Officer.
  10. Construct a berm or trench between disturbed areas and water courses.
  11. Topsoil All excavations should have all productive topsoil (usually the top 12 to 18 inches) first stripped, stockpiled, and then protected from erosion for use in future reclamation. This also includes removal of topsoil before the establishment of mining waste dumps and tailings ponds, if the waste material will be left in place during reclamation. Construct a berm or trench immediately downslope of the stockpile. Preserve and protect organic matter in the topsoil be establishing vegetation on stockpiled soils.
  12. Stabilize and contour the area, replace topsoil and mulch (weed free), seed with native species, and plant the area with appropriate vegetation from local sources (if possible) when no further mining is contemplated.
  13. Where appropriate, during the period from October 15 to May 15, contour and mulch disturbed areas that will not be mined for at least 30 days.
  14. Confine operations to bench areas rather than allow encroachment into Riparian Reserves whenever possible.
  15. Locate and maintain sanitation facilities in accordance with the Department of Environmental Quality regulations.

D. Leasable Operations

Practice: Limit drill site construction and access through Riparian Reserves to established roadways unless the operator submits a plan which demonstrates that impacts from the proposed action are acceptable or can be adequately mitigated.

E. Salable Operations


  1. Locate rock material stockpile sites on stable ground.
  2. Locate, design, construct, and close roads, landings, and crusher pads in accordance with the Roads section. Prior to abandonment, all material sites will be graded to conform with the surrounding topography. Oversize material that is not usable, and reject, will be placed in the bottom of the pit, graded, and then the pit floor and cutslopes covered with topsoil. Reseeding, if necessary, will be done as prescribed by the Area Manager. Access roads no longer needed by the BLM will be abandoned and reclaimed.
  3. All topsoil will be stockpiled or windrowed, as appropriate, for use in reclamation. These piles may need to be stabilized by seeding in order to minimize erosion during the winter months.

Livestock Grazing

A. General Guidelines

Objective: To protect, maintain, or improve water quality, riparian-wetland areas and upland plant communi- ties; to achieve properly functioning riparian ecosystems.


  1. Monitor, evaluate and adjust grazing practices to eliminate impacts that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. If adjusting practices is not effective, eliminate grazing in the area (GM-1).
  2. Consider fencing springs, seeps, and water developments to protect water quality and riparian ecosystems. Pipe overflow away from the developed source area to minimize contamination.
  3. Locate livestock water developments away from riparian and wetland areas. Conditions outlined in the Water Source Development and Use section will be met.
  4. Do not locate salting areas within 14 mile of permanent water sources or in Riparian Reserves.
  5. Minimize construction of livestock trails. Construct trails with a minimum of disturbance to the soil surface. Waterbar as appropriate.
  6. Locate new livestock handling and/or management facilities (corrals, pens, or holding pastures) outside Riparian Reserves and on level ground where appropriate drainage can be achieved away from Riparian Reserves. For existing livestock handling facilities inside Riparian Reserves, ensure that Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives are met. Where these objectives cannot be met, require relocation or removal of such facilities. Limit livestock trailing, bedding, watering, loading, and other handling efforts to those areas and times that will ensure Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives are met. Provide for adequate collection and disposal of wastes (GM-2, GM-3).
  7. Monitor, evaluate, and adjust upland livestock management practices to meet resource objectives.
  8. Resolve management conflicts or concerns regarding water quality and/or watershed/riparian-wetland area condition through the development of grazing management plans. Modify current grazing management practices though allotment management plans, coordinated resource management plans, agreements or decisions, as needed.
  9. Promote ecological recovery through appropriate forage utilization levels, improved livestock distribution and management through fencing, vegetation treatments, water source development, and/or changes in season of use or livestock numbers.
  10. Range improvement projects will meet conditions outlined in the Soil Resource Protection section.
  11. Cooperate with federal, tribal, and state wildlife management agencies to identify and eliminate wild ungulate impacts that are inconsistent with attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

B. Grazing Management in Riparian-Wetland Areas

Objective: To achieve properly functioning riparian-wetland ecosystems.


  1. Conduct grazing management practices to provide for regrowth of riparian-wetland vegetation or leave sufficient vegetation after use for maintenance of proper functioning condition. See the Definitions and Proper Functioning Condition section for instructions on determining proper functioning condition.
  2. Develop grazing strategies for riparian-wetland areas using one or more of the following features. This grazing strategy would be developed at the activity planning level, through an allotment evaluation and the development of an allotment management plan:
    • inclusion of the riparian-wetland area within a separate pasture with separate management objectives and strategies;
    • fencing or herding of livestock out of riparian-wetland areas for as long as necessary to allow vegetation to recover;
    • controlling the timing of grazing to keep livestock off streambanks when they are most vulnerable to damage and to coincide with the physiological needs of target plant species;
    • adding more rest to the grazing cycle to increase plant vigor, allow streambanks to heal, or encourage more desirable plant species composition;
    • limiting grazing intensity to a level which will maintain desired species composition and vigor;
    • changing from cattle to sheep to obtain better animal distribution through herding;
    • permanently excluding livestock from those riparian-wetland areas that are at high risk and have poor recovery potential, and when there is no practical way to protect them while grazing adjacent uplands.
  3. Incorporate allowable use guidelines for riparian-wetlands in allotment management plans as part of a grazing strategy. Allowable use of forage is based on the amount of forage that will be left at the end of the overall grazing season or the end of the growing season, whichever is later. These guidelines would generally follow the utilization standards shown in Table F-7, which include cumulative annual use by wild ungulates and livestock:
  4. Table D-7. Utilization Standards in Riparian-Wetland Areas.
      Proper Functioning
    Functional - At Risk
    or Nonfunctioning
      Herbaceous Woody Herbaceous Woody
    Riparian Areas with Management 50 50 0-40 0-35
    Riparian Areas without Management 40 30 0-30 0-25

    In addition to these allowable use guidelines, grazing would be scheduled to allow at least 30 days of post-grazing regrowth annually. The allotment management plans could include utilization standards which are either lower or higher than those outlined above, or could prescribe late season use of riparian vegetation. This prescription could occur when associated with intensive grazing systems and specific vegetation management objectives that meet the needs of riparian-dependent resources.


Objective: To protect, maintain, or improve upland plant communities; to achieve properly functioning upland ecosystems.


  1. Follow the Allowable Use Guidelines outlined in Table F-8 for uplands. These utilization objectives are designed to maintain soil productivity, plant vigor, and livestock and wildlife forage value.
    Table D-8. Degree of Allowable Use (by percentage).    
    Plant Category Spring Summer Fall Season-long
    Perennial grasses and grasslike 50 50 60 50
    Perennial and biennial forbs 50 50 60 50
    Shrubs, half shrubs and trees 30 50 50 45

    For this table, spring is considered to be the period of active vegetative growth; summer is flowering, seed production, and some regrowth; fall is cured and late regrowth. These utilization levels are for the current year's growth, including regrowth. Guidelines for certain allotment or pastures may differ from these guidelines, due to specific resource concerns and site-specific conditions.

  2. Manage uplands to provide for the following functions within site capabilities and consistent with other practices:
    • the vegetation canopy allows moisture from typical storm events to reach the soil surface;
    • standing vegetation captures blowing or drifting snow;
    • organic material (plant litter, standing vegetation) protects the soil surface from raindrop impact;
    • coarse rock fragments protect the soil surface from raindrop impact;
    • water is not restricted from infiltrating the soil surface (for example, organic matter is present and no physical soil crusting, capping, or sealing of the surface is present);
    • subsurface soil conditions support infiltration rates (for example, compaction layers and evidence of frost heave are uncommon);
    • standing vegetation and plant litter detain overland flow and trap sediment;
    • surface roughness detains overland flow;
    • evidence of excessive overland flow (rills and gullies, pedestalling), wind erosion or other soil movement is uncommon;
    • plant cover and litter protect the soil surface from the evaporative effects of sun and wind;
    • plants are vigorous and productive and consist of desirable species.

Watershed Rehabilitation

Objective: To increase soil stability, reduce soil erosion, and improve water quality.


  1. Design and implement watershed restoration projects in a manner that promotes long-term ecological integrity of ecosystems, conserves the genetic integrity of native species, and attains Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives. Employ good project planning using an interdisciplinary team. Recent BLM policy provides direction and guidance for the development of restoration projects, and should be incorporated (WR-1).
  2. Use corrective measures to repair degraded watershed conditions and rehabilitate with a native (where practicable) vegetative cover that will maintain or improve soil stability, reduce surface runoff, increase infiltration, and reduce flood occurrence and flood damages. Do not use mitigation or planned restoration as a substitute for preventing habitat degradation (WR-3).
  3. Consider partnerships or the use of cooperative agreements to coordinate efforts with adjacent landowners. Develop watershed-based Coordinated Resource Management Plans to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives (WR-2).
  4. Where feasible, rehabilitate headcuts and gullies on watershed uplands.
  5. Improve native perennial grass cover conditions or wildlife habitat using treatment projects such as juniper control, brush control or prescribed fire. Design projects so that adequate soil cover remains (either by leaving cut trees in place for many years or by lopping and scattering branches); an adequate herbaceous seed source or seed bed is available (either naturally or through seeding); wildlife habitat is either maintained or enhanced; and ensure that subsequent management of the site addresses livestock and recreation use, or other management-caused limiting factors. Watershed improvement projects are to be designed to meet the requirements of Section IV; however, in the short-term these conditions may be exceeded in order to achieve watershed improvement objectives.

Fisheries Habitat Improvement Projects

Objective: To minimize damage to streambanks and riparian habitat during construction of fishery habitat improvement projects.


  1. Design and implement fish and wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement activities in a manner that contributes to attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives (FW-1).
  2. Carefully plan access needs for individual work sites within a project area to minimize exposure of bare soil, compaction, and possible damage to tree roots. Utilize existing trails to the extent practical.
  3. Base design of habitat improvement structures on state-of-the-art techniques and local stream hydraulics.
  4. Confine work in the stream channels to between June 15 and September 15 (during the low flow period) to minimize the area of the stream that would be affected by sedimentation.
  5. Keep equipment out of streams to extent possible.
  6. Limit the amount of streambank excavation to the minimum necessary to ensure stability of enhancement structures. Place excavated material as far above the high water mark as possible to avoid entry into the stream.
  7. Whenever possible obtain logs for habitat improvement structures from outside the riparian zone or at least 200 feet from the stream channel to maintain integrity of riparian habitat and streambanks.
  8. Inspect all mechanized equipment daily to help ensure toxic materials such as fuel and hydraulic fluid do not enter the stream.
  9. Utilize waterbars, barricades, and seeding to stabilize bare soil areas.

Recreation and Off-Highway Vehicle Use

Objective: To minimize damage to streambanks and riparian habitat and impacts to water quality and soil productivity from off-highway vehicles and other recreation use.


  1. Minimize resource damage from off-highway vehicle use. Where off-highway vehicle use is causing resource damage, restrict or prohibit such use. Prohibit vehicle and off-highway vehicle use (except for boats) in fish bearing and perennial streams, lakes, ponds and other waters, on sensitive stream banks, and, during wet soil conditions, in Riparian Reserves.
  2. Design, construct, and operate recreation facilities, including trails and dispersed sites, within Riparian Reserves in a manner that contributes to attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives. For existing recreation facilities inside Riparian Reserves, evaluate and mitigate impacts to ensure that these do not prevent, and to the extent practicable contribute to, attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives. Implement erosion control measures on all administrative sites and on developed recreation sites to stabilize the soil and minimize stream sedimentation (RM-1).
  3. Adjust dispersed and developed recreation practices that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy Objectives. Where adjustment measures such as education, use limitations, traffic control devices, increased maintenance, relocation of facilities and/or specific site closures are not effective, eliminate the practice or occupancy (RM-2).
  4. Design facilities to concentrate and direct foot and vehicular traffic to reduce impacts. Apply site-hardening measures appropriate for the level of designed development. However, in areas with concentrated recreation use, requirements outlined in the Soil Resource Protection section may be exceeded, provided that State and Clean Water Act requirements are met.
  5. Design, construct and operate fish and wildlife interpretive and other user-enhancement facilities in a manner that does not retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. For existing fish and wildlife interpretative and other user-enhancement facilities inside Riparian Reserves, ensure that Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives are met. Where Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives cannot be met, relocate or close such facilities (FW-2).

Objective: To provide safe drinking water to administrative facilities and recreation sites.


  1. Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water Standards and State and local Health Departments provide the standards and administrative guidelines for drinking water supplies. These agencies will be used as a source of information and technical assistance.
  2. The District Engineer serves as the District Drinking Water Coordinator and is responsible for coordinating a testing program to ensure that tests are performed on water systems in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The District Drinking Water Coordinator also prepares reports of test results for district water systems and maintains records of monitoring, treatment, and laboratory test results. Bureau-operated water systems are managed in accordance with BLM Manual 9184: Drinking Water Supply.

Objective: To protect surface and subsurface water from bacteria, nutrients, and chemical pollutants resulting from the collection, transmission, treatment, and disposal of sewage and solid waste at administrative facilities and recreation sites.


  1. The District Engineer is responsible for the day-to-day operation, monitoring and maintenance of wastewater treatment facilities, including septic systems and toilets at recreation facilities. Guidance for this program is outlined in BLM Manual 9182: Wastewater Treatment.
  2. Plan, locate, design, construct, operate, inspect, and maintain sanitation facilities and refuse disposal sites to minimize the possibility of water contamination. Consult State and local authorities to assure compliance with all applicable State and local regulations. Educate the public in proper sanitation practices and refuse disposal at each site through the use of signs, printed information, mass media, and personal contact.

Management of Competing Vegetation (Not Including Noxious Weeds): Use of Herbicides

Objective: To protect water quality and public health and safety.


  1. Herbicides, insecticides, and other toxicants, and other chemicals shall be applied only in a manner that avoids impacts that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives (RA-3).
  2. Notify residents and adjacent landowners within 0.5 mile of proposed treatment sites who likely could be directly affected by chemical drift, smoke, food or water contamination, or an accidental spill prior to any chemical application.
  3. Use the buffer strips widths in Table F-9 on perennial and fish bearing streams, and on all lakes, ponds and other waters:
    Table D-9. Application Technique.  
      Minimum Buffer Width1
    Manual wipe-on High Water Mark
    Manual 10 feet
    Vehicle 50 feet
    Aerial (Perennial and Fish Bearing Streams 100 feet
    Aerial (Lakes, ponds, and other waters) 200 feet
    Aerial (in drainages with domestic water diversions) 200 feet

    All surface waters, unless otherwise indicated.

    Local conditions may require an expansion of these minimum widths. Some examples of site-specific factors that may necessitate additional buffer widths include: mode of transport (direct application, drift, and water flow); adjacent topography; and buffer vegetation structure and functions.

  4. (3) Assign 100-200 foot buffers in areas having shallow water tables or where aquifers are located in alluvial deposits along major streams when using atrazine, a persistent chemical.

Noxious Weed Control

Objective: To protect water quality, public health and safety, and soil productivity.


  1. Herbicides, insecticides, and other toxicants, and other chemicals shall be applied only in a manner that avoids impacts that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives (RA-3).
  2. Biological Control: If grazing by goats or sheep is used, allowable use guidelines in Section XII may be exceeded in order to accomplish control or eradication objectives. Adherence to these guidelines will be analyzed on a site-specific, case-by-case basis.
  3. Manual/Mechanical Control: Tillage will be allowed on slopes that do not exceed 10 percent. Controlled burning may be used if the burned area can be rehabilitated to prevent erosion and resource degradation. Guidelines in Section IV may be exceeded in order to accomplish control or eradication objectives. Adherence to these guidelines will be analyzed on a site-specific, case-by-case basis.
  4. Chemical Control: Herbicides labeled for aquatic use in the control of riparian-wetland or aquatic weeds could be used as described in the Northwest Area Noxious Weed Control Environmental Impact Statement (1987). For all other herbicides, use the buffer strips widths in Table F-10 on perennial and fish bearing streams, and on all lakes, ponds and other waters:
    Table D-10. Application Technique.  
      Minimum Buffer Width1
    Manual wipe-on Existing High Water Line
    Spot Treatment by Ground vehicle with handguns or with backpacks 10 feet
    Granular Formations 10 feet
    Ground Vehicle with Boom Sprayers 25 feet
    Aerial (All surface waters and identified ground water recharge areas) 100 feet
    1All surface waters.

    Local conditions may require an expansion of these minimum widths. Some examples of site-specific factors that may necessitate addition buffer widths include: mode of transport (direct application, drift, and water flow); adjacent topography; and buffer vegetation structure and functions.

Water Source Development and Use

Objective: To supply water for various resource programs while protecting water quality and riparian vegetation.


  1. Locate water drafting sites to minimize adverse effects on stream channel stability, sedimentation, and in-stream flows needed to maintain riparian resources, channel conditions, and aquatic habitat (RA-4).
  2. Water Rights and Permits All proposed water source developments will have appropriate water rights documentation completed prior to construction, in accordance with Oregon State water laws. The District Engineer will be consulted during the planning process for proposed developments in order to initiate filing for permits and water rights documentation.
  3. Design and construct durable, long-term water sources. Avoid reduction of downstream flow which would detrimentally affect aquatic resources, fish passage, or other uses.
  4. Direct overflow from water-holding developments back into the stream.
  5. Locate road approaches to instream water source developments so as to minimize potential impacts in riparian-wetland areas. Apply rock to surface of these approaches to reduce the effects of sediment washing into the stream.
  6. Avoid use of road fills for water impoundment dams unless specifically designed for that purpose. Remove any blocking device prior to fall rains.
  7. Construct water sources during the dry season (generally between May 15 and October 15).
  8. Standards and guidelines for water developments are outlined in BLM Manual Handbook 1741-2, Water Developments.
  9. Use of Existing Developments Use of water in existing developments must be in accordance with the allowed use of that water as stated in the water right for that development. Any use, except for emergency fire suppression, that is outside of the permitted amounts or type of use (as specified by a Certificate of Water Right) must be covered under a Limited License to Use Surface Water, which is issued by the State. The District Engineer will be consulted prior to the anticipated need for the use of water to determine if the proposed use is in accordance with water rights. If not, then an application for a Limited License to Use Surface Water will be filed by the District Engineer.

Erosion Control Practices

See BLM Manual Handbook 9188-1.

Definitions and Proper Functioning Condition


Wetland: Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support and which, under normal circumstances, do support a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands include marshes, shallow swamps, lake bogs, muskegs, wet meadows, estuaries, and riparian areas. (33 Code of Federal Regulations 323)

Riparian Area: A form of wetland transition between permanently saturated wetlands and upland areas. These areas exhibit vegetation of physical characteristics reflective of permanent surface or subsurface water influence. Lands along, adjacent to, or contiguous with perennially and intermittently flowing rivers and streams, glacial potholes, and the shores of lakes and reservoirs with stable water levels are typical riparian areas. Excluded are such sites as ephemeral streams or washes that do not exhibit the presence of vegetation dependent upon free water in the soil.

Lotic: Characterized by running water habitat, as in rivers, streams and springs.

Lentic: Characterized by standing water habitat, as in lakes, ponds, seeps, bogs and wet meadows.

Perennial Stream: A stream that typically has running water on a year-round basis.

Intermittent Stream: Any non-permanently flowing drainage feature having a definable channel and evidence of annual scour or deposition. This includes what are sometimes referred to as ephemeral streams if they meet these two physical criteria. As a guideline, an intermittent stream will flow at least 30 days every six out of 10 years.

Many intermittent streams may be used as spawning and rearing streams, refuge areas during flood events in larger rivers and streams, or travel routes for fish emigrating from lakes. In these instances, the standards and guidelines for fish-bearing streams would apply to those sections of the intermittent used by any species of fish for any duration.

Detrimental Compaction: Detrimental soil compaction occurs at depths greater than two inches and is evidenced by: an increase in soil bulk density of 15 percent or more over the undisturbed level; and/or a macropore space (pores over 0.038 millimeters) reduction of 50 percent or more.

Determination of Riparian-Wetland Area Condition

Recent Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office guidance states that during inventory and monitoring of riparian areas, an assessment of riparian-wetland area status in terms of functioning and ecological condition should be incorporated. This information should be included in allotment management plans and other planning documents. Current condition of riparian-wetland areas is placed into one of the following functional categories.

Proper Functioning Condition: Riparian-wetland areas are functioning properly when adequate vegetation, landform, or large woody debris are present to dissipate stream energy associated with high water flows, thereby reducing erosion and improving water quality; filter sediment, capture bedload and aid floodplain development; improve floodwater retention and groundwater recharge; develop root masses that stabilize streambanks against cutting action; develop diverse ponding and channel characteristics to provide the habitat and the water depth, duration and temperature necessary for fish production, waterfowl breeding, and other uses; and support greater biodiversity. The functioning condition of riparian-wetland areas is a result of the interaction among geology, soil, water and vegetation.

Functional-At Risk: Riparian-wetland areas that are in functional condition but an existing soil, water, management or vegetation attribute makes it susceptible to degradation.

Non-Functional: Riparian-wetland areas that clearly are not providing adequate vegetation, landform, or large woody debris to dissipate stream energy associated with high flows, and thus are not reducing erosion, improving water quality, etc., as listed above. The absence of certain physical attributes, such as having a floodplain where one should be, are indicators of non-functioning conditions.

Along with functioning condition, BLM expresses the status of riparian-wetland areas in ecological terms. In many cases, riparian-wetland areas will provide functional benefits if they are in the late seral to potential plant community stage. Therefore, BLM has the general goal of achieving advanced ecological status in riparian-wetland areas, except where resource management objectives would require an earlier successional stage. For example, vegetation diversity may not occur at the potential plant community stage. Through site-specific activity plans, determine the most desirable riparian-wetland community for meeting management objectives.

A Technical Reference 1737-9, Process for Assessing Proper Functioning Condition, discusses how to assess condition and gives the following guidelines for determining desired future condition:

1. Determine existing condition.
2. Determine potential condition.
3. Determine the minimum conditions to reach proper functioning condition.
4. Determine management goals for the watershed (that is Desired Plant Community or Desired Future Condition).
5. Negotiate specific objectives to reach management goals.
6. Design management actions.
7. Determine monitoring needs.
8. Provide enough flexibility to change management actions based upon monitoring results.

The amount of time spent in these steps would depend on the riparian and riparian-dependent resources involved, and what kinds of information are available. When possible, Ecological Site Inventory information should be gathered on certain riparian areas in order to make judgements. Otherwise, use existing inventory and monitoring information and professional, interdisciplinary judgement.

Riparian-Wetland Reference Tools

The BLM has developed a series of handbooks to assist in the management of riparian-wetland areas, and are listed below.

Technical Reference TR-1737-1: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography of Riparian Area Management
Technical Reference TR-1737-2: The Use of Aerial Photography to Inventory and Monitor Riparian Areas
Technical Reference TR-1737-3: Inventory and Monitoring of Riparian Areas
Technical Reference TR-1737-4: Grazing Management in Riparian Areas
Technical Reference TR-1737-5: Riparian and Wetland Classification Review
Technical Reference TR-1737-6: Management Techniques in Riparian Areas
Technical Reference TR-1737-7: Procedures for Ecological Site Inventory- With Special Reference to Riparian- Wetland Sites
Technical Reference TR-1737-8: Greenline Riparian-Wetland Monitoring
Technical Reference TR-1737-9: Procedures for Assessing Proper Functioning Condition

Table D-3. Guide for Placing Common Soil and Geologic types into Soil Erosion and Soil Infiltration Classes to Space Lateral Road Drainage Culverts
Soil Series type
721 729 380 719 706 718 381      
Erosion Index 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Standard Soil Textures and Unified System Soil Groups SM SM Silt (uncon- solidated) (B) Silt (consoli- dated) (B) Silty clay loam (A) Clay loam (A) Loamy sand (C) Course sand (C) Fine gravel Rock (C)
  ML ML OL OL Silty Clay (A) Silt Loam (A,B) Sandy loam (B) SW SW Cobble (C)
      MH MH Clay, varying with type, cohesiveness & compaction (A) Clay, varying with type, cohesiveness & compaction (A)   SP SP Gravel (C)
        CL Sandy clay (B) Sandy clay loam (B) Sand (B,C) Sand (B,C)   GW,GP
CH,GM GC      
Special Cases: General
Names & Descriptions
Decomposed grandoriorite (C) Decomposed sandstone, e.g., (B,C) Fine soils derived from rocks high in mica (C) Coarse soils derived from rocks high in mica (C) Some volcanic ash or extremely fine pumice sometimes difficult to distinguish from residual soils (B)       Fractured loose basalt or shale (C)
  High decomposed granite (B) Greasy decomposed rock high in clay (A)               "Shot" as found in Coarse volcanic cinders (C)
    Pumice, varying with location, particle size, density, topography, and compaction (B,C)           Bed rock (A)
Table D-4. Guide for Maximum Spacing (in feet) of Lateral Drainage Culverts by Soil Erosion Classes and Road Grade (2 percent to 18 percent)
  Erosion Class I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X
Road Grade in Percent Erosion Index 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
2   900 1225                
3   600 815 1070 1205            
4   450 610 800 905 1015          
5   360 490 640 725 810 865 1000      
6   300 410 535 605 675 720 835 1010    
7   255 350 455 515 580 620 715 865 1030 1210
8   225 305 400 450 505 540 625 755 900 1055
9   200 270 355 400 450 480 555 670 800 940
10   180 245 320 360 405 435 500 605 720 845
11   165 220 290 330 370 395 455 550 655 770
12   150 205 265 305 340 360 415 505 600 705
13   140 190 245 280 310 335 385 465 555 650
14   130 175 230 260 290 310 355 430 515 605
15   120 165 215 240 270 300 335 405 480 565
16   115 155 200 225 255 280 310 380 450 530
17   105 145 190 215 240 265 295 355 424 500
18   100 135 180 200 225 250 280 335 400 470
19 to 40 Jeep Roads
Skid Roads
50 50 50 90 90 90 90 90 90 90

This table is based on rainfall intensities of 1 to 2 inces per hour falling in a 15-minute period with an expected recurrence interval of 25 years. For areas having intensities other than 1 to 2 inches per hour, divide values in the table as follows:

Rainfall Intensity Divisor
2-3 inches per hour 1.50
3-4 inches per hour 1.75
4-5 inches per hour 2.00
Less than 1 inch per hour Whatever the intensity (.75, .85, etc.)

Ref: Transportation Engineering Handbook, U.S. Forest Service, R-6, 1966.

Notes: In soils producing high sediment yields such as the 721, 729, and 300 series, the spacings should be considered as maximum distances between drainage structures. 300 feet to 400 feet to gradients of 4 to 10 percent in these soils was found to be the average spacing that provided fair ditchline protection.