Soil Conservation Guidebook

Table of contents

6 Temporarily exceeding the maximum allowable level of soil disturbance in the net area to be reforested (NAR)

Allowing maximum soil disturbance limits to be temporarily exceeded can provide operators with more latitude in selecting cost-efficient harvesting methods and techniques. For example, consider a prescription that specifies a 5% maximum allowable soil disturbance: the normal choice of harvesting system would be a cable system; however, if an additional 5% of the NAR could be (temporarily) occupied by excavated or bladed trails (i.e., for a combined total of 10% soil disturbance before rehabilitation), a ground skidding system may be a practical and less costly option.

Total harvesting costs may be reduced by constructing and subsequently rehabilitating temporary roads or temporary landings that would otherwise be considered in excess of the minimum required to harvest the cutblock. The additional area to be temporarily occupied by these structures (i.e., the area that will exceed the specified maximum allowable level of soil disturbance) must be recorded in the prescription as a proportion of the NAR.

The extent of this additional soil disturbance should not exceed 5% of the NAR.

These temporary access structures should be planned only where adequate conservation of soil resources and protection of other resource values can be achieved. These structures must be rehabilitated following harvesting, and must be constructed on sites amenable to, and in a manner conducive to, successful rehabilitation.

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