(Last Updated December 2005)
Stream turbidity is one measure of the level of fine, suspended sediments during storm flows. Suspended sediments are a result of erosion delivered to watercourses and can be exacerbated by land management practices. High stream turbidity during storm flows can affect fish physiology, reduce feeding or in the worst cases increase fish mortality. Changes in stream turbidity are a long-term process, and are impacted by the management decisions made in forests for the last several decades. MRC is committed to forest management practices that will minimize movement of sediment. In particular:
- MRC is investing a significant amount of resources into the redesign, relocation, rehabilitation and repair of its road system. Roads are the leading source of sediments to streams, and MRC is investing in its road system to reduce sediments from roads across its landscape.
- MRC is primarily employing cable yarding when it removes logs from the woods, in place of more traditional tractor logging. This harvest system disturbs soils to a lesser degree than tractor yarding. It also minimizes soil compaction, which can ultimately lead to serious erosion problems. Cable yarding relies on a crane and wire pulley system to lift logs from the woods and bring them to a landing where they can be loaded for transport.
- MRC is carefully managing around its stream zones. MRC has high tree retention standards along streams, and equipment limitations for streamside areas.
- MRC has substantially limited any harvest activities in the winter.
- MRC is currently designing a monitoring program for turbidity and suspended sediment as part of the long-term sustainable forest management plan.