Forest roads have been a hot topic the past few years. Here we will give information that might be helpful to you on forest roads.
What we knew all along is now recognized "Good Forest Management " keeps our water clean.
Building a road from mulching is a new project we are trying to see how it will work. In the future we will be adding gravel to the road in places where needed, Where we are in Alabama most of our property is hilly. Erosion can become a problem quickly because of the grade. We purchased this piece of property to give us access to another public road so we don't have to ask permission to haul our wood out or what ever we might be doing on the north end of our property. I marked the location of the road with the thought of log trucks using it and with the least amount of disturbance to the property. A mulching machine cut the road through the forest and we will not have to worry about erosion for now with only a jeep, occasional tractor and sometimes a pickup traveling the road. This road makes for a good hiking trail. We are now installing a gate at the public road to control access to the property.
More pictures from the work.
This is through the mature pine stand.
This project is complete.
In less than a week we will be having a forestry tour on our property which will be addressing a stream crossing and water diversions on forest roads. We take special care in protecting the watershed on our property. Some may say it is an overkill, but I think you should do all possible to protect the soil, water and other natural resources on your property.
Below is a picture of progression of the work we just completed.
The water diversions were put in on the roads using a John Deere 660 dozier.
This is what the road looked like as the construction progressed.
As soon as the soil moving was complete, three large round bales of hay were scattered over all the exposed soil after seed and fertilizer was applied.
Before planting and mulching.
After planting and mulching.
Seed germination is encouraged and erosion discouraged by applying the hay.
This is what the road now looks like as the grass begins to grow after the rain.
Forest road maintenance sometimes seems to be a never ending job but it must be done to have access to your property. I worked on road spraying last week with the use of my four wheeler and a 25 gallon sprayer. This week we will have heavy equipment on the property working on water diversions to keep the roads from eroding and also keeping the roads where they will be easily accessed. This work will all be done following an engineered design to accomplish our goals for the road.
We are now working on a joint demonstration project with several agencies on Forest Roads. We have started the work and are now ready to add the seed to stabilize the soil.
There will be updates to this site as the project continues. This project is to encourage others to look at all options as far as concerns for forest roads, soil erosion and water quality.
This past weekend my son, grandson, and myself planted the places where soil was disturbed in the work on the road. We applied pelleted limestone, fertilizer, and a mixture of seed using bahiagrass and brown-top millet. We are going to apply the nitrogen after the germinate and stars to get established. We have had good rain on it so germination should be soon.
We now have a scheduled date of August 26th, in the afternoon for the educational seminar to take place.
This week we applied the nitrogen to the roads. They have germinated and are looking good. This application of nitrogen should finish off the work on the road project, scheduled for the end of August.
We added some gravel onto two spots along the road to prepare for the tour, August 26th. It was a tight squeeze for this large truck getting down the road. Some gravel is also being added to a ford crossing the branch to show care for water quality.
I am starting to bush hog next week to make final preparations for the tour.
Last Post on Forest Roads
Tuesday, we hosted an educational seminar and tour on our property for agency people such as NRCS, Soil and Water District, Alabama Forestry Commission. This was a project about "Forest Roads" and protecting the water shed.
Many groups had a hand in making this happening possible, many individuals work hard to make this day a success. It started at our lodge with the indoor sessions and then when Congressman Mike Rogers came by we actually went to the site where the road work was carried out. Our goal was to give the Congressman a first hand view of forest roads and how forest landowners are working to keep the water shed clear of erosion which has been a hot topic on the national level the past few years. We had 34 to attend the seminar.
This was the conclusion to the Forest Roads Project but the road work may be used in logger educational training and the Clay County Forestry Planning Committee may do a landowner tour here at a later date.