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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Forestry > Forestry BMP's > Skid Trails Skid Trails

Avoid skidding in streams.

General Guidelines:

  • Avoid long steep grades greater than 20%. Use steeper grades only for short distances and when large water bars or other diversions are installed and maintained.
  • Locate to allow skidding at an angle to the slope, not straight up and down a hill.
  • Avoid skidding through stream channels, springs, seeps, sinkholes, and other wet areas.

Skidding Across Streams:

  • Cross streams as near to a right angle as possible. Utilize temporary bridges or install culverts where practical.
    Remove temporary crossings as soon as use is completed.
  • Fords may be utilized where stable conditions exist and allow crossing without excessive soil movement into the stream
  • See stream crossing guidelines for more information.
  • If necessary, install temporary crossings in small intermittent and ephemeral streams by placing logs or poles side by side in the streambed. Do so only if:
    --Soil is not introduced into the stream
    --Stream flow is not blocked or diverted
    --Woody material is removed after use.

Closing Skid Trails

General Guidelines:

  • Smooth water channeling ruts and berms.
  • Install appropriately spaced water bars and other diversions as each harvest section is completed or shut down - even temporary shutdowns.
  • Divert water off skid trails before the trail enters a riparian management zone or crosses a stream.
  • Drain each diversion onto stable forest ground.
  • Seed skid trails prone to erosion and slow to regrow naturally.
  • Mulch and fertilize seeded areas where necessary.
  • Return disturbed recreation trails to preharvest condition or better.
  • Install a visible traffic barrier to prevent use by off-road vehicles
  • Logging debris in combination with water bars or other diversions can be placed on skid roads for erosion control. Brush and logs need to be limbed sufficiently to allow ground contact.
  • Waterbar Spacing Guidelines