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bmp_TWR.ppt - Best Management Pr


  • pg 1

Protecting Water and Soil Resources at
National Forest Ski Areas

                     Paul K. Flood
                      Soil Scientist
              Wasatch-Cache National Forest
                             Adapted From:

  Best Management Practices
       SKI AREA BMPs

USDA_Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Wasatch-Cache National Forest

    to provide basic information to Tour with a Ranger
    interpretive specialists about:

          Water quality concerns in LCC associated with historic
          uses of the area
         Common effects of ski area development and operations on
          soil and water resources
         Use of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) to protect
          water quality, streams, and vegetation
         Post construction restoration of soil and vegetation

 What is a BMP?
 Why protect water quality?
 Construction planning and design
 Overview of water quality protection
 Overview of land reclamation
 Water Quality Protection BMP Slideshow
 Soil and Vegetation Restoration BMP
            What is a BMP?
                multiple choice:

 an image file format
 a military infantry fighting vehicle
 a way to prevent water pollution
 a really poor choice of acronym
 all of the above
What is a Best Management Practice?
  A Best Management Practice (BMP) is a practice or
  combination of practices that have been determined to
  be the most effective and practicable means of
  preventing or reducing non-point source pollutants.

  BMP’s associated with forest management activities are
  designed primarily to prevent or reduce soil erosion
  and the pollution of surface waters, by controlling
  storm-water runoff from construction and other kinds
  of ground disturbing projects.

  Alpine ski areas under permit with the National Forests
  must implement Ski Area BMP’s whenever they are
  engaged in ground disturbing activities on National
  Forest lands.
  I. Why Protect Water Quality?
Ski area construction
projects can affect water
quality and stream
environments. If not
controlled, erosion and
sedimentation can lead
     increased filtering costs
     for drinking water
     increased flood potential
     degraded fish habitat
     poor revegetation           Alta Collins-Wildcat Base Area
     weed invasions                Renovation, Summer 2004
Which Streams to Protect?

    Perennial Flowing Streams
     Which Streams to Protect?

Wetlands and intermittent/ephemeral channels need
                protection as well
    Common Pollutants at Ski Areas

   Sediment from construction projects
   Cement/Concrete from construction projects
   Road Salt from snow removal work
   Fuel/Lubricants from vehicles and snowcats
   Heavy Metals from vehicles and mine tunnels

    Snowmaking additives?   Explosive Residues?
Historic Mining Metal Pollution - LCC


1998 USGS Study - Dissolved Zinc Concentration Sample Locations
Historic Mining Metal pollution - LCC

     Wasatch Drain Tunnel
     above Snowbird
 ^                                             Tanner Flat area

                        Howland Tunnel below
                        Alta Lower Lot

       1998 USGS Study - Dissolved Zinc Concentrations
Metal Pollution from Historic Mining -
      Current Efforts to Lower Zinc Concentrations in LCC

 Completion of TMDL study to determine where zinc loads are
 coming from, and where they should be reduced to meet water
 quality objectives

 Alta Wetland Fen Pilot Project : Improvements to the design
 and operation of the peat moss wetland to treat a more of the
 Howland Tunnel drainage

 Treatment strategies that adjust the timing and amounts of
 water releases from the Wasatch Drain Tunnel associated with
 domestic water and cogeneration plant operations

 Consolidation and capping of soils impacted by the historic
 Jones and Pardee smelter in Tanners Flat
       Common Pollutants at Ski Areas
        Sediment from Construction Projects

Bare Soil + Rain =
   Dirty Water
Common Pollutants at Ski Areas
 Sediment from Construction Projects

                          Runoff control
                         ditches and basins
                         Bare slope
                          Sediment
                         trapping fences
     Common Pollutants at Ski Areas
               Cement and Concrete

The BMP is to provide a safe location at every project for
  cement mixer washout and containment of pollution
End of Part I

 II. Construction Planning and Design
Techniques for Protecting Soil and Water

    Minimize the amount of ground disturbance
    Project timing and phasing
  Use temporary stream crossings and roads for
 construction access
Minimizing Ground Disturbance

  Build ski runs with low impact methods.
 Minimal ground disturbance means doing:

    This                        Not this
          minimizing ground disturbance, cont.

  Grind stumps in place, rather than digging them out
Shatter/scatter large rocks, rather than excavate and bury

      Stump grinding                  Rock breaking
         minimizing ground disturbance, cont.

          Chip/shred smaller vegetation in place
Selective tree removal by low ground pressure equipment

   Hydroaxe Chipper          Imperial Walker Harvester
         minimizing ground disturbance, cont.

Why build a road when you     Why disturb a new area when
   can use a helicopter?        you can reuse an old one?
        Project Timing and Phasing
Scale the project to the short mountain construction season.
           When fall comes you want to be doing:

          This                          Not this
            Project Timing and Phasing
Don’t do major projects in the same watershed at the
                    same time

  Snowbird Gad Valley                  Alta Collins Gulch
        Halfpipe in 2004           Collins chair and parking
                                           lot in 2004
    Gad Valley lot and day
       lodge in 2005               Watson    shelter in 2005

 Objective: Allow for vegetation recovery in one area before
   disturbing more soil and vegetation in a nearby area.
Project Timing and Phasing, results:
        Alta Collins Base and Watson Shelter

Collins Base Reveg 2005       Watson Shelter BMPs 2005
Project Timing and Phasing, results:
      Snowbird Halfpipe and Gad Valley Lot

 Halfpipe Reveg 2005        Gad Valley Lot BMPs 2005
        Temporary Stream Crossings

Minimize channel disturbance and reclamation costs. Use
  temporary bridges or I-beams instead of culverts.
     Temporary Roads and Trails

If you must have road access, remove it when done by
  pulling fill slopes and restoring the original ground
                  contour and vegetation
End of Part II

     III. Overview: Protecting Soil
             and Water Quality
Bare soil is extremely vulnerable to erosion. To preserve topsoil and
protect streams from sediment, begin by protecting bare slopes from
                    excessive runoff and erosion.

  Cross Slope Water bars            Slope Drain Pipes/Mulches
              Protecting Water Quality cont.

When bare slopes are close to streams, intercept runoff
              and filter sediment out.

Straw Bale Check dams              Sediment Fencing
                Protecting Water Quality cont.

 Large rainstorms can generate sediment that will overwhelm
waterbars and silt fencing. In this case, runoff must detained or
               diverted to treatment facilities.

Gad Valley lot rock                  Alta lower lot detention
sediment filter strip                          basin
IV. Temporary and Permanent BMPs
   to Prevent Sediment Delivery to
   Designed to contain sediment from normal snowmelt
    and 5 to 10 year storm events
   Designed to control slope erosion until permanent
    vegetation is reestablished ( 1 to 3 years)
   Are more effective when used in combination with other
    temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent practices
   Require constant maintenance to maintain effectiveness
           Water Bars That Work

Waterbars should have a slight curve to prevent low spots.
They will self clean if begun at 1 to 3% slope, and finished
at 5 to 7% slope.
       Building a Better Silt Fence

Sediment fences should be installed in pre dug trenches,
with the bottom flap pointing upslope, backfilled and
compacted to prevent undercutting.
               Better Silt Fences (cont.)

To prevent collapse, snow proof fences by adding wire or
               plastic cable tie wrapping.
Where high velocities are expected, sediment fence can be
 strengthened with a row of securely staked straw bales.
      Putting Buffer Strips to Work

   Floodplains and riparian zones are natural sediment
filters. Use them to de-silt runoff from construction sites.
                 Parking Areas

Paving parking lots is the best way to reduce sediment in
 the canyons. All ski area lots in BCC and LCC are now
                 Utility Trenches

Pipeline trenches can quickly turn into stream channels if
           not protected from rainstorm runoff
                 Utility Trenches (cont.)

Wherever a trench cuts through any sort of channel, dry
 or wet, a temporary crossing pipe must be installed
End of Part IV

End of Part V

V. Temporary and Permanent BMPs
     to Prevent Slope Erosion

   Designed to protect and enhance the lands ability to
    grow vegetation
   Designed to control slope erosion until permanent
    vegetation is reestablished ( 1 to 3 years)
   Enhance seeding success when using slower than
    normal to establish native seed mixes
   Require little maintenance beyond first growing season
    follow up fertilizer application
                     Soil Conservation
    Preserving the Land’s Ability to Grow Vegetation

   reapply salvaged and
    conserved topsoil
   stockpile topsoil at the top
    of steep slopes for ease of
   avoid traversing stockpiles
    with heavy equipment
   roughen final reclaimed
    surface with bulldozer
  Good Revegetation Needs Good Soil
Examples of Regrowth on:

 Good native topsoil   Imported topsoil   Poor subsoils
Topsoil replacement should be monitored for quality and
 Natural Revegetation – Its Free!

Run clearing and shaping with track-hoe excavators
reduces erosion, preserves live roots, and promotes
               quicker revegetation
Revegetation – sometimes you have to
           do it yourself

                     choose native grass and forb
                     apply seed in late autumn at
                      50 to 200 seeds/ square foot
                     enhance germination by
                      “tracking in”
                     apply phosphate fertilizer in
                      the spring or mix in during
                      initial seeding
                     cover freshly seeded areas
                      with a mulch
 Straw Mulch Covers & Erosion Blankets
    Enhancing the Land’s Ability to Grow Vegetation

Straw Mulch
   apply straw mulch at a
    loose thickness of 4 to 6
   track straw into the soil
    so it stands upright
   secure straw mulch with
    netting or chemical
Straw Mulch Covers & Erosion Blankets Cont.

                        Erosion Blankets
                           staple blanket into place
                           ensure good soil contact
                           do not stretch
                           increase staple density
                            and depth in high wind
                           combine with silt fencing
                            for additional protection
                            next to water sources
    There are no right or wrong ways,
          only ways that work
Ski Area BMPs are basic, proven techniques that
can be adapted to mountain construction projects.
They are:

   Simple
   Implementable
   Flexible
   Effective
    Where Can I Get SKI BMPs?

           Hardcopies and Compact Disc
 Acrobat Reader, 24 MB, print version on CD
 Hardcopies are now out of print and no longer available
 Web version (screen), 2 MB, downloadable from :

   The End

End of Part IV



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