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Silviculture is defined as the cultivation, harvest and transport of lumber. The magnitude of nonpoint source pollution from silvicultural activities in Louisiana is small when compared to the pollutant loads generated by agricultural activities. Even so, silvicultural activities can represent a significant source of pollution when poor or no management practices are followed. Forestland covers nearly half of the land area of the state. A portion of this forestland is in a transition stage of cover during, and for two years after, harvesting. It is on these disturbed areas that most of the significant forestland erosion occurs. The 1982 National Resource Inventory (SCS) data indicated that approximately 68,000 acres of forestland in Louisiana are eroding at unacceptable rates (rates exceeding tolerance values). The seven parish areas of Caldwell, Catahoula, DeSoto, Rapides, Sabine, Union, and Vernon parishes account for 50,000 of this 68,000 acres of forestland with erosion problems.

Other types of pollution associated with silvicultural practices include pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, fire-retardant chemicals, organic matter and woody debris in watercourses, and thermal pollution from increased water temperature where trees along streams have been removed. Increased temperatures influence dissolved oxygen concentration and bacterial populations in streams.

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