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Forestry

Forest Roads

Issue:

Forest Road

Good road design and
construction contributes
to visual quality of forest
practices.

Forest Road

Well maintained forest roads
improve visual quality.
Photos: Texas Forest Service

Design, location, construction, maintenance, and use of forest roads
impact visual quality.

Objective:

Soften visual impacts associated with the design, construction,
maintenance, and use of forest roads.

Consideration:

  • Traffic, patterns, seasons, and safety.
  • Management activities and objectives.
  • Noise, dust, rutting, and mud.
  • Cost to accommodate visual quality.
  • Water quality.
  • Proximity to recreation areas.

Avoid:

  • Tracking mud onto paved highways.
  • Steep grades
  • Rutting and damaging roads
  • Erosion and sedimentation

 


Recommended Practices:

Forest Road
Use appropriate road surface material.
Photo: Jim Finley

 

Matts used for making a forest road.
When necessary, use mats or gravel
at entrances to public roads.
Photo: Westvaco Corporation

 

Forest Road
Reduce visual penetration with
appropriate road alignment.
Photo Weyerhaeuser Company

Level #1: Least Sensitive

  • Control water movement with proper techniques such as crowning, wing ditches, and broad based dips.
  • Encourage utilization of all merchantable timber within right-of-way.
  • Scatter right-of-way debris.
  • Minimize both the number and width of roads necessary to meet management objectives.
  • Maintain roads.
  • Close temporary roads upon completion of use.
  • Provide appropriate access control to minimize unauthorized traffic.

Level #2: Moderately Sensitive

  • Control water movement with proper techniques such as crowning, wing ditches and broad based dips.
  • Utilize merchantable timber within right-of-way.
  • Scatter debris outside of right-of-way.
  • Minimize both the number and width of roads necessary to meet management objectives.
  • Maintain roads.
  • Close temporary roads upon completion of use.
  • Provide appropriate access control to minimize unauthorized traffic.
  • Reduce visual penetration with appropriate road alignment.
  • Use appropriate road surface material.
  • Locate roads to minimize visibility from nearby vantage points, such as scenic overlooks and waterways.

Level #3: Most Sensitive

  • Control water movement with proper techniques such as: crowning, wing ditches, and broad based dips.
  • Utilize merchantable timber within right-of-way.
  • Burn, screen, or bury road-clearing debris, such as stumps, rocks, and boulders; so that it is not visible.
  • Minimize both the number and width of roads necessary to meet managements objectives.
  • Maintain roads.
  • Close temporary roads upon completion of use.
  • Provide appropriate access control to minimize unauthorized traffic.
  • Reduce visual penetration with appropriate road alignment.
  • Use appropriate road surface material.
  • Locate roads to minimize visibility from nearby vantage points, such as scenic overlooks and waterways.
  • Minimize the number of road approaches to highways.
  • Shape and seed ditches and exposed areas.