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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Forestry > Forestry BMP's > Forest Roads > Closing Forest Roads Closing Forest Roads

Using BMP's before and during operations will minimize the cost of closing.

Your operations will be judged by what you leave behind. Roads should be stabilized when the job ends for the season, as well as when the logging is completed. As a rule of thumb, if a logging area is to be inactive for 30 days or more, forest roads and skid trails should be temporarily shut down. The main purpose of closing forest roads is to prevent erosion. A properly closed forest road will improve aesthetics while providing access for recreation, wildlife and forest management, fire control and other activities. Each section of the forest road should be closed when it is no longer needed.

General Guidelines:

  • Stabilize forest roads and smooth water channeling ruts and outside berms as soon as possible after use.
  • Ensure that all erosion control and water management measures (e.g. water bars, drainage dips, culverts and ditches) are working. (See spacing recommendations.)
  • Seed road areas prone to erosion that will not quickly revegetate naturally. Fertilizer and lime may be needed in some cases. All unsurfaced roads exceeding 5% in grade should be seeded. See recommended seeding mixtures and fertilizer and lime rates.
  • Mulching may be necessary to re-establish ground cover on some difficult areas.
  • Properly placed logging slash can help break the flow of water. It must be limbed to achieve good contact with the soil.
  • The forest owner should revisit the site periodically to determine if repair or maintenance is needed.

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