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Vermont Family Forests
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Conserving The Health Of Our Local Forest Community

Demonstration Video Clips

Below you’ll find links to several video clips, related to three subjects:

  1. Why we need the Town Forest Health Check, or "Forestry: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"
  2. How to Use the Town Forest Health Check Tools
  3. How to Assess the 12 Benchmarks

Video 1
| Seeing the Forest through the Biomass (0:54 minutes)

As fuel prices climb, Vermonters increasingly turn to the forests around them for fuel. Timber harvesting can be done in ways that maintain the forest’s health—what Aldo Leopold referred to as its capacity for self-renewal. But all too frequently, it is difficult to determine if timber harvesting complies with or falls short of that mark. Simple metrics are available to help sort that out.

The following series of videos provide examples of what local forests look like when timber harvests are conducted in varying degrees of compliance with the 12 Health Check benchmarks.


Video 2 | A Timber Sale with Issues (1:14)

This video clip provides an overview of a post-harvest forest with issues that compromise forest health. In this harvest, some of the Health Check benchmarks have been met, and several fell significantly short.

Video 3 | Major Soil Erosion on Forest Access Roads (1:00)

When a forest meets the Health Check Benchmark #1 pre- and post-harvest, forest access roads and trails are stable. This video clip shows how an old trail eroded to a depth of 7 feet because of the failure to design the access properly and to install the required erosion control structures. Rather than addressing the issues of steepness and lacking erosion control, a new trail was constructed next to the old one.

Video 4 | Forest Access in the Stream Protective Strip (1:13)

As stated in Health Check Benchmark #4, forest access roads should be kept out of the stream protective strip. This video clip shows a skid road built immediately adjacent to a woodland stream for several hundred feet.

Video 5 | Stream Protective Strip & Erosion Issues (1:25)

This clip shows timber harvest practices that fail to comply with Vermont Acceptable Management Practices and with Health Check benchmarks #1 (Access Trails), #4 (Stream Protective Strips), and #5 (Stream Condition).

Video 6 | Plugged Culvert at a Stream Crossing (2:19)

When access roads cross streams and drainages, Health Check Benchmark #3 states that they should be crossed with a properly size and installed bridge or culvert. This clip shows a culvert badly plugged with debris, which will inhibit its ability to direct water under and away from the access road.

Video 7 | Logging Debris in Stream (0:40)

Woody debris in streams is natural. However, as this video clip shows, logging debris from timber harvesting operations is often deposited over short periods of time, and it can have significant negative impacts to stream ecosystems. As noted in Health Check Benchmark #5, logging debris should generally be kept out of streams and other bodies of water.

Video 8 | Spring Seep and Road (0:41)

Old roads were often built without much planning. Road segments located near ecologically sensitive areas, such as spring seeps, should be relocated. In the case of the road shown in this clip, a move to higher ground would reduce negative impacts and increase stability of the access trail.

Video 9 | Log Ford Stream Crossing (1:02)

As Health Check Benchmark #3 notes, streams are best crossed with bridges and culverts. Log fords can be installed quickly and cheaply, but it is hard to minimize negative ecological impacts when they are used. That is why even when done well, they are not considered a best management practice!


2. How to Use the Town Forest Health Check Tools

Video 10 | Protractor Clinometer (2:01)

Video 11 | Penny Method of Point Sampling (video benchmarks 10-12)


3. How to Assess the 12 Benchmark Assessments

The following video clips demonstrate what the assessment process for particular Health Check benchmarks looks like. A few of the benchmarks have very straightforward assessments, and we have not included instruction videos for those.

Benchmark Assessment 1 video | Access Paths and Trails (2:02)

Benchmark Assessment 2 video | Log Landings (1:44)

Benchmark Assessment 3 video | Stream Crossing—Culvert (1:39)

Benchmark Assessment 3 video | Stream Crossing—Bridge (1:26)

Benchmark Assessment 4 video | Stream Protective Strips (1:54)

Benchmark Assessment 5 video | Stream Condition (1:08)

Benchmark Assessment 7 video | Ecologically Sensitive Areas (:35)

Benchmark Assessment 9 video | Small Woody Debris (1:02)

Benchmark Assessments 10-12 video | Legacy Trees, Snag & Den Trees, and Large Downed Wood (3:21)