Thursday, July 9, 2009

BMP's and a trail through the woods

BMP's, or best management practices, are a landowner's friend. They keep a property looking good, prevent future damage, and help keep the neighbors happy. Texas does not require following their BMP guidlines. It is voluntary, and you must make sure they are followed on your property when you have it logged. Here is a link to the Texs BMP's: .
A trail through the woods is always important if you plan on enjoying them close up. The BMP guidelines can be helpful in planning the trail route and it's construction. If you plan it right, you can even convert logging roads into trails for future use. I have an old logging road running around our property in the shape of a C connecting the two ends of the dam. BMP's were not followed when making this road. A few places need runoff control. The stream crossings are also not in very good shape, but are only an aesthetic and vehicle access issue. I am going to start with the runoff problem since it is the cheapest problem. Wheelchair access for my wife creates an extra dimension to the trail issue. We will be making the trail as smooth as possible with water bars created with trash trees to direct runoff to prevent erosion of the smooth path. Erosion control is also important when you consider all of our runoff goes into the pond. Runoff affects water clarity, condition, and content. It is much easier to control runoff on your property athn to treat a pond for turbidity and other water problems. A properly designed trail should be able to accomodate us and occassional vehicle traffic while limiting harmful impact to the woodlot and wildlife.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Taking a forest walk

We went on vacation in Arkansas and went on some nice drives along the Buffalo National River. One spot that was accessible for my wife to get out was near the Henry R. Koen Experimental Forest. We had a picnic and enjoyed the view of the river and forest. Access to the Koen Interpretive Trail in the experimental forest can be found along the Erbie Loop drive on the following website: . It is a short and easy trail with a lot of labeled trees. If you ever wondered how they experiment on a forest, here is your chance. It is also worth a drive for the views and the old farmsteads along the way. A beautiful area with some great views of rugged hills covered with forest and, of course, the Buffalo river.
Petit Jean State Park has another wheelchair accessible trail that gave me great ideas for our property. It is a boardwalk to an overlook of Cedar Falls. It was easy to walk on and for her to roll on. I believe it would be a great way to make some of the seasonally flooded areas accessible to everyone. A short raised boardwalk over the water and around some of the pond would be great for seeing some of the wildlife. A boardwalk is a lot of work and needs a large amount of wood, but it may be the best option for the property for making it accessible.