Protecting Arkansas’s forests, and those who enjoy them, from wildland fire and natural hazards while promoting rural and urban forest health, stewardship, development, and conservation for all generations of Arkansans

Best Management Practices – Water Quality

Forests generate clean water. Best management practices (BMPs) are techniques to protect water quality while conducting forest management activities. Forestry Division BMP staff work with all members of the forestry community to provide training and offer technical assistance to support the use of BMPs on forestland throughout the state.

The Arkansas BMPs are approved guidelines for conducting forest management activities in the best way to reduce impact to water quality. BMPs are not regulated by government in Arkansas, so it's up to forest landowners to adopt and implement BMPs to aid in the protection of water quality during forest management practices.

Courtesy Exams

BMP staff offer water quality courtesy exams as a public service. The objective is to convey a BMP/water quality plan that addresses the BMPs needed to ensure water quality protection during an activity. An on-site training of landowners, logging contractors, road contractors, site-preparation contractors, and foresters ensures everyone involved in the activity is aware of the applicable BMPs for the operation.

Courtesy exams are simply to provide assistance. BMP staff will not enforce implementation of any recommendations


BMP staff are actively involved in training the forestry community on BMPs. They offer technical training for foresters, loggers, road contractors, and site-preparation contractors. Non-technical trainings are offered for forest landowners.

The Forestry Division cooperates with the Arkansas Timber Producers Association to offer the BMP training module in the Arkansas Pro Logger Program. Other cooperators include the Arkansas Forestry Association, University of Arkansas at Monticello School of Forest Resources, and University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

Monitor Survey

A biennial implementation survey is conducted to capture estimates of BMP implementation in the state. Recently managed sites are randomly selected from aerial reconnaissance. After sites are selected, forest landowners are contacted to gain permission to enter the tract to monitor BMP implementation. Information collected is used to produce a state BMP implementation report, and focus training efforts in deficient areas of the state.


The Forestry Division has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) stating that issues concerning water quality where forestry is involved will be referred to the Forestry Division for investigation and resolution. BMP implementation will avert violations to the Clean Water Act.

If you have concerns with poor forestry practices that are adversely affecting water quality, submit a complaint here or contact BMP staff at (870) 312-9999. A site visit will be made to determine if there are any legitimate risks to water quality. Staff will work with contractors and landowners to attempt to reduce risks to water quality if they are resulting from forest management practices.

Bioassessment of Silviculture Best Management Practices in Arkansas

A study to determine the effectiveness of sivilculture BMPs in protecting the water quality and biological integrity of stream adjacent to harvest areas.