As the culmination of a three year project the Appalachian Hardwood Center (AHC) hosted a tour on September 26, 2006, of log landing sites that had been re-vegetated with a variety of seed mixtures. The project goal was to develop techniques to stabilize soil after logging activities to reduce erosion and sedimentation of nearby streams. Forty-eight people participated in the tour including WVU researchers, lumber company representatives, WV Division of Forestry personnel, consulting foresters, and landowners.
Graduate student Lisa Tager spoke about her research results using different seed mixes to revegetate log landings, discussing which seeds were most successful, as well as mixes that worked best to attract wildlife. One objective of the project was to identify native seeds that germinated and established well on log landing sites. Seeds that proved very effective for stabilizing soil include white clover, partridge pea, wild blackberry, creeping red fescue, deer tongue grass, and silky wild rye. A wildflower mix was also used, but only the black-eyed Susan successfully grew on the sites.
Lisa also mentioned a side project which calculated the amount of soil lost from road cuts that were bare, versus road cuts that had been seeded. Using sediment wells placed within the ditch between the road and road bank, her research shows that seeding the road bank drastically reduces the amount of sediment that eventually will wash into streams.
The AHC team, Shawn Grushecky, Ben Spong and Lucas Cunningham, also arranged for a demonstration of their log-landing vegetation method which included ripping the landing with a tooth hitched to a bulldozer, smoothing the ripped area with the dozer blade, and hydroseeding this newly exposed soil. The hydroseed mixture included water, mulch, lime, and native grass and legume seeds. Dave Hardesty of the WV Division of Forestry also spoke regarding BMPs for logging. He noted that 41% of skids roads sampled by the DOF failed to have proper reclamation.
One key concern that DOF foresters have regarding logging roads is the spacing between water bars. Often they are placed too far apart. If erosion is occurring between the water bars, dig a new bar between them and make sure that the lower ends of the water bar are open to allow water to flow out, not pool.
AHC staff and researchers seeded twenty-two log landings during the project period. Research results will be used to make recommendations for best management practices related to reclamation of log landings and skid roads. Special thanks go to Pardee and Curtin Lumber Co. and Jim C. Hamer Co. for providing log landing sites for the project, Tom Cogar, for helping with reseeding efforts during the research period and the demonstration, the Elk Conservation District for financial support for the hydroseeder and educational programs, and Mayford Lake, DOF Forester, who consulted with the AHC Team and WVU researchers throughout the project period.