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Stream Protection Zone (SPZ)

Stream Protection Rules

Idaho Forest Practices Act:

    During and after forest operations, stream beds and streamside vegetation shall be protected to leave them in the most natural condition as possible to maintain water quality and aquatic habitat.

    Ground-based skidding in or through streams shall not be permitted. When streams must be crossed, adequate temporary structures to carry stream flow shall be Installed. Cross the stream at right angles to its channel if at all possible. (Construction of hydraulic structures in stream channels is regulated by the Stream Channel Protection Act - Title 42, Chapter 38, Idaho Code). Remove all temporary crossings immediately after use and crossditch the ends of the skid trails.

    When cable yarding is necessary, across or inside the stream protection zones, it shall be done In such a manner as to minimize stream bank vegetation and channel disturbance. Provide the large organic debris (LOD), shading, soil stabilization, wildlife cover, and water filtering effects of vegetation along Class I streams.

    Leave hardwood trees, shrubs, grasses, and rocks wherever they afford shade over a stream or maintain the integrity of the soil near a stream.

    Leave 75 percent of the current shade over Class I streams.

    Carefully remove the mature timber from the Stream Protection Zone to prevent destruction of shade and vegetation filters. Standing trees including conifers, hardwoods, and snags will be left within 50 feet of the ordinary high water mark on each side of all Class I streams in the following minimum numbers per 1,000 feet of stream:

    Snags will be counted as standing trees in each diameter class if snag height exceeds 1.5 times the distance between the snag and the stream's ordinary high water mark. Not more than 50 percent of any class may consist of snags.

    As an alternative to the standing tree and shade requirements, the operator may notify the department that a site specific riparian management prescription is requested. The department and operator may jointly develop a plan, upon consideration of stream characteristics and the need for large organic debris, stream shading, and wildlife cover, which will meet the objective of these rules.

    Where the opposite side of the stream does not currently meet the minimum standing tree requirements of the table, the department and the operator should consider a site specific riparian prescription that meets the large organic debris needs of the stream.

    Stream width shall be measured as average between ordinary high water marks.

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Idaho Forest Products Commission
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