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Timber Harvesting

Winter Harvesting Consideration

    To reduce the risk of erosion and damage from roads and constructed skid trails in winter logging:
  • Install adequate surface and cross drainage in roads to be used for winter operations before operations.
  • Drain winter roads by installing rolling dips, drivable cross ditches or open top culverts, outsloping, or by other suitable means.
  • During winter operations, maintain roads as needed to keep the road surface drained during thaws and breakup. This may include:
  • Actively maintaining existing drainage structures;
  • Opening drainage holes in snow berms;
  • Installing additional cross drainage on road surfaces by ripping, placing native material, or other suitable means.
  • Before logging, mark existing culverts. Keep culverts and ditches open.
  • Be prepared to suspend operations if conditions change rapidly and serious erosion hazards develop.

  • Idaho's winter freeze-up brings the opportunity for low impact logging. With proper precautions, even work in sensitive areas can be done without affecting water quality.

    Before logging (right), mark existing culverts and other drainage structures. Keep drainage open and culverts unplugged. Compact skid trail snow before skidding logs. This avoids damage to soils that are still wet or not completely frozen.

    SPZ's can be totally obscured by heavy snow. Avoid confusion by marking boundaries ahead of the first snow. Winter thaws can happen. Don't take chances with soil disturbance and possible erosion. Expect to shutdown temporarily.

    Cross-ditch all skid trails before spring runoff (left). If prohibited by frozen ground, install cross-ditches during dry summer months. Temporary erosion control barriers consisting of slash can be used until cross-ditches are installed.

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