Timber Harvester Perceptions of Costs and Benefits from Applying Water Quality BMPs in North-central USA


  • Charles R. Blinn University of Minnesota, Minnesota, USA
  • Anne-Marie Alden University of Minnesota, Minnesota, USA
  • Paul V. Ellefson University of Minnesota, Minnesota, USA


Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) prevent or minimize the impact of forestry operations on water quality. Relatively little is known about the net financial effect to timber harvesters from applying water quality BMPs. A survey of Minnesota timber harvesters found them to be well acquainted and willing to comply with the states water quality BMP program. Although the BMP program was officially implemented in 1990, many practices were apparently being widely applied prior to the programs initiation. These practices were probably already providing important financial benefits to timber harvesters. From 1990 through 1994, however, most timber harvesters (75 percent) reported increased costs associated with applying 40 individual water quality BMPs. Only 16 percent reported financial gains from applying the individual BMPs. When looking at the net financial effect across all 40 BMPs studied, 87 percent reported a net increase in costs from applying those practices. A number of recommendations are provided to assist BMP policy makers, program designers, and educators.






Technical Papers