From the community

Wooden Skidder Bridge Mat Construction and Installation Workshop in Dover-Foxcroft

Posted July 19, 2013, at 3:19 p.m.

The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District, in partnership with the Maine Forest Service and the Maine’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s education committee will be holding a Wooden Skidder Bridge Mat Construction Workshop on Wednesday, July 31st from 8:30AM to 12:30PM at the PCSWCD’s Law Farm property in Dover-Foxcroft.

Bridge mats, or “temporary skidder bridges”, when used properly, allow temporary stream crossings to be installed with minimal impact to the waterbodies being crossed, and therefore protect the quality of the water. This workshop will be hands-on with participants learning how to construct a set of hemlock skidder bridge mats using a few simple tools. Proper installation of the bridge mats will also be addressed during the workshop.

Presenters for the workshop will include Keith Kanoti, Water Resources Forester of the Maine Forest Service (MFS), Gordon Moore, Piscataquis County District Forester of the MFS and Pat Sirois, Director of the Maine Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) of the Maine Forest Products Council.

Sirois noted that the SFI has been partnering with the MFS and other organizations to bring this workshop to communities throughout the State of Maine. “The SFI is a program designed to ensure that forests in Maine and across the country are managed sustainably. The program fosters continuous improvement in forest management in order to protect wildlife, soil and water quality in order to maintain forest biodiversity.”

Because of the implementation of forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) such as the use of temporary skidder bridges, MFS has seen a significant decrease in water bodies impacted by forestry practices in recent years. These organizations are working together with the PCSWCD to conduct this workshop so that the practice of using temporary skidder bridges during wood harvests continues to grow as a BMP in Piscataquis County.

“About 5,000 timber harvests take place annually in Maine. If soil run-off is going to occur, it most likely happens at stream crossings,” according to Kanoti. “Sediment infiltration into streams and other water bodies during timber harvesting can have detrimental environmental consequences, such as harming cold-water fisheries and drinking water.”

All participants in the workshop will be eligible to lease the temporary skidder bridges from the conservation district for a nominal fee. This Wooden Skidder Bridge Mat Construction Workshop is also approved for Certified Logging Professional contact credits.

Pre-registration is required by Friday, July 26th. To register, please contact the PCSWCD by calling 564-2321, Extension 3 or by emailing info@piscataquiscountyswcd.org.

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