University of Idaho Extension Forestry and the Idaho Department of Lands developed the website, www.idahoforestrybmps.org. It explains the importance of best management practices. BMPs are defined as practices that are the most effective and practicable means of preventing or reducing the amount of erosion resulting from forest practices.
The website is a work in progress. Much of the material that will help forest managers, landowners and others will be added as a companion manual and as videos are developed.
Providing links to state and federal forestry agencies, the website also offers primers on filling out notifications of forest practices and stream channel alteration permits, key documents required for most forestry operations.
Readily available, easily understood information for forest owners and managers is the goal, says Randy Brooks, U of I Extension forestry specialist at Moscow.
Yvonne Barkley, associate extension forestry specialist at Moscow, led the production of information for the website.
"We want people to look at this and say this is the shining example of providing good information about forest best management practices to the public," Brooks says.
The website and a new BMP handbook and videos due in two years aim to translate the Idaho Forest Practices Act and regulations into useful information written in plain language.
"The hope is that anyone who wants to learn about forestry and why we protect water quality and other environmental values will benefit from this project," Brooks says.