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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Forestry > Forestry BMP's > Glossary of best management practice terms Glossary of best management practice terms

aesthetics - The visual appearance of a site.

archeological area - An area where humans conducted some activity and left evidence of it behind, such as artifacts or other remains. Includes all human burial sites and sites of activity pre-1816. Newer sites may also be significant.

arch culvert - Culvert with arched upper portion but flat bottom

berm - Fill preventing movement of water off the road surface; Or, a low earthfill constructed in the path of flowing water to divert its direction, or accumulation beside the road.

Best Management Practice (BMP) - A practice determined to be the most practicable means of preventing or reducing non-point source pollution to help achieve water quality goals, and more generally, of protecting and conserving forest resources and forest land productivity.

broad based dip - A surface drainage structure specifically designed to drain water from a forest road while vehicles maintain normal travel speeds. Also known as a rolling dip.

buffer (filter) strip - A barrier of permanent vegetation established or left undisturbed down slope from disturbed forest areas to filter out sediment from runoff before it reaches a watercourse. Also known as a filter strip.

cistern - A receptacle for holding water or other liquid; especially, a tank for catching and storing rainwater.

compacting - The process of reducing the space between soil particles.

corduroy - logs placed over a wet area in order to minimize the risk of rutting.

culvert - A metal, concrete, plastic or log pipe through which water is carried.

cut and fill - A process of earth moving by excavating part of an area and using the excavated material for adjacent embankments or fill areas.

diversion - A surface drainage structure designed to drain water from forest roads and trails. There are several types of diversions including: broad based dips, dips, water bars and turnouts.

duff - The partially decayed organic matter on the forest floor. Economic damage is avoided and adverse side effects are minimized when duff layer is left in place.

energy dissipater - Any type of diversion that slows the energy of moving water.

ephemeral stream - A watercourse generally without a well-defined channel which flows only in response to rainfall or snowmelt. Ephemeral streams, generally, flow for less than 20% of the year during normal rainfall.

erosion - The loosening and movement of soil particles.

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency.

fill - Any solid material added to or redeposited in a wet area that would alter the hydrological characteristics or obstruct the flow patterns.

flared end culverts - Culvert with sloped protruding ends to accommodate back fill.

flood (storm) event - A periodic overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry.

ford - A natural or reinforced stream crossing suitable for shallow streams with stable bottoms.

forest floor - All dead vegetable matter on the mineral soil surface in the forest, including litter and duff.

forestation - All types of tree planting, whether conversion of open land or after a harvest.

geotextile fabric - A product used as a soil reinforcement agent and as filter medium. It is made of synthetic fibers manufactured in a woven or loose non-woven manner.

grade - The slope or steepness of a road usually expressed as a percent.

grade break - A decrease in the steepness of a road accomplished with a broad based dip, switchback or other diversion.

gully - An eroded channel which has been deepened to the point that it cannot be removed by tillage.

intermittent stream - Watercourse with a well defined channel generally flowing in a well defined channel for 20-90% o the year. Indicated by dashed blue lines on topographical maps.

invasive species - Generally a non-native species which, if introduced to a site, may spread and/or displace native plants or animals.

IPM - Integrated pest management, an ecological approach to pest management in which all available necessary techniques are consolidated into a unified program so that pest populations can be managed in such a manner that use of chemicals is minimized.

litter layer - The uppermost, slightly decayed layer of organic matter on the forest floor.

log landing - A place where trees and logs are gathered in or near the forest for further processing and transport.

mulching - Using organic residues (such as grass, straw, or wood fibers) or commercially available alternatives as a covering for exposed forest soil. It serves to control erosion and facilitates revegetation.

natural regeneration - The planned regeneration of a forest that either uses existing trees as a source of seed or encourages sprouting from stumps or roots.

Non-point source pollution (NPS) - Pollution 1) induced by natural processes, including precipitation, seepage, percolation and runoff; 2) not traceable to any discrete or identifiable facility; and 3) controllable through the utilization of best management practices.

NRCS - Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

outsloping - A roadbed along a hill constructed so that water will flow across the road toward its downhill side.

percent grade - Change in elevation of a road per unit of length (e.g. a 10' rise over a 100' length is a 10 percent grade).

perennial stream - A stream that generally maintains water in its channel throughout the year. Indicated by solid blue lines on topographical maps.

pesticide - Chemical substances, either liquid or granular, that are used for the control or eradication of undesirable insects, disease, vegetation, animals and other organisms. Herbicides, Insecticides, Fungicides and Nematicides are examples.

practicable - Capable of being effected, done, or executed; feasible and practical.

prescribed fire - The controlled application of fire to wild lands fuels under specified environmental conditions in order to eliminate unincorporated organic matter or low undesirable vegetation.

riparian - An area adjacent to the bank of a river, pond, small lake or other body of water.

Riparian management zone (RMZ) - A buffer strip next to a river, stream, lake, pond, sinkhole opening, or any other sensitive body of water.

riprap - Rock fragments (3"-8" in size) often placed to protect from the erosive forces of flowing water or to stabilize an area for equipment traffic.

runoff - Surface flows channeled into the vegetation, duff, ditch or dispersion area to minimize soil erosion.

sediment - Eroded soil particles that are deposited downhill or downstream by surface runoff.

seep - A place where ground water flows slowly to the surface and often forming a saturated soil area; a small spring.

sensitive area - Unique area to be given special consideration to prevent or minimize disturbance which may alter the site's uniqueness.

silt fence - Plastic strips or straw bales used as a fence to catch soil washing off of an area of bare soil.

sinkhole - A natural depression in a land surface connecting with a subterranean passage generally occurring in limestone regions and formed by solution or by collapse of a cavern roof.

site preparation - A forest activity to remove unwanted vegetation and other material to cultivate or prepare the soil for reforestation.

skid trail - A temporary pathway for dragging felled trees or logs to a landing for processing.

slash - The unwanted, unutilized, and generally unmarketable accumulation of woody material in the forest, such as limbs, tops, cull logs and stumps, that remain in the forest as residue after timber harvesting.

spill kit - A kit containing materials and instruction for cleaning spills of hazardous or potentially hazardous materials.

spring - A flowing source of water originating underground.

stream channel - The natural ditch which conveys surface runoff water within well defined banks.

streambank - The sides of a channel that hold or carry water.

streambed - The bottom of a stream.

waterbar - A ditch and a hump across a trail or road, tied into the uphill side for the purpose of carrying water off of the road.

watercourse - A stream of water; river; a channel of water. Can also include bodies of open water and subterranean (underground) waterways.

wildfire - Uncontrolled fire occurring in forest land, brush land, and grass land.