Loggers' perceptions of the costs of best management practices on timber harvesting operations in Virginia
Water quality practices can have a financial impact on the cost of harvesting timber in Virginia. Two hundred seventy-two timber harvesters were surveyed to determine the estimated cost for implementing best management practices (BMPs) on harvested sites. BMPs analyzed in this study are pre-harvest planning, road construction, broad base dips, water turn-outs, water bars, streamside management zones, stream crossings, and site stabilization.
Loggers provided an estimate of the cost or expense for constructing each BMP. They gave an indication of how costly these practices were to implement. The responses for each BMP were then stratified by region to determine if there were regional differences in the unit costs. With the exception of haul road construction costs, the data showed no regional differences in the unit BMP costs across Virginia.
Forty-six harvested sites in Virginia were visited to determine the number of BMPs constructed for the harvesting operations. The total cost of following BMP guidelines was calculated using the state median cost, regional road construction costs, and number of practices installed on the site for each tract. The BMP cost per acre was reported by region.