Effects of forestry activities on hydrology and sediment transport of coastal plain headwater streams
Summer, William Barron
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To evaluate the efficacy of Georgia’s forestry Best Management Practices (BMP), we used four forested headwater streams in southwest Georgia to conduct a paired watershed analysis of hydrologic and sediment responses to clearcut timber harvest. After collecting two years of baseline data on all four streams, two of the watersheds were harvested using state BMP guidelines. The treatment watersheds were clearcut harvested except for SMZs, which were divided into upper and lower sections. Upper SMZ sections were not manipulated while the lower sections were thinned to the maximum extent allowed by Georgia BMPs. Stream discharge increased as a result of clearcut harvest but peakflow did not. Total sediment yield exhibited inter-site and inter-annual variation that overshadowed treatment effects, which were not statistically discernible. Riparian buffers were effective for mitigating sediment movement for storms during the study period.