Protect Contiguous Forest Areas
P7Protect Contiguous Forest Areas
2 points possible
Why this matters to the lake?
Forests create an absorptive sponge that reduces the amount of runoff and pollutants entering the Lake. When forest areas are fragmented by buildings, driveways, roads, lawns, and other land use activities, the nature of the forest changes and its ability to absorb rainfall is reduced. Increased light along fragmented edges increases the opportunity for vines and invasive species to grow. Long thin areas of forest, with more edge conditions (as exist along many driveways), are less healthy and less capable of absorbing and intercepting rainfall than the same area with fewer edge conditions. Continued fragmentation ultimately leads to deforestation as isolated areas of trees decline and eventually convert to lawn. Contiguous forest areas create wildlife corridors and habitat.
- Protect the water quality of Lake George and the watershed by preventing the removal and fragmentation of forests
- Reduce runoff and the discharge of pollutants into the lake by maintaining healthy forests that absorb and filter rainfall
- Protect the ecological health of forest areas by preventing fragmentation
Locate buildings, roads, and other site improvements in areas that are not forested. Avoid land disturbance activities in forested areas. Restrict land clearing and disturbance within the edge canopy of the forest. Limit driveway widths to allow tree canopy to extend over the driveway. Encourage cluster developments that contain site disturbance.
Two points are awarded for a site where all built structures and land disturbance activities occur outside of existing, intact forest and woodland areas.
OR complete the following requirements (up to 2 points)
- One point is awarded for a site where all built structures and land disturbance activities disturb less than 30% of existing intact forest and woodland areas (square feet).
- One point is awarded for a project that documents the impact to contiguous forest cover by showing the percent increase in the tree canopy edge after construction, and demonstrates that this edge has not increased by more than 10% (linear feet).
- One point is awarded for a project that demonstrates that intact woodland depths of 75 feet or more are maintained to the greatest extent possible.
Include the following information with application:
✓ Delineate on the Proposed Site Plan all forested areas, including for adjoining properties, and indicate that structures, land disturbance, and clearing activities will occur outside of the forested areas and not occur within the edge canopy of the forest.
✓ Provide pre-development and post-development forest canopy edge lengths in linear feet.
- "What is Forest Fragmentation and Why is it Important?" Birds in Forested Landscapes, Web.
- "Forest Fragmentation." US Environmental Protection Agency. US Forest Service, Oct. 2003. Web.
- Thomson, M. J. "Forest Fragmentation." Ontario Nature. Web.
- Forest Fragmentation. Retrieved from Environmental Protection Agency website.
- Forest Planning and Assessment. Retrieved from www.forestsforwatersheds.org/overview/
- How Greenways Work: A Handbook on Ecology. Retrieved December 4, 2014, from http://www.americantrails.org/resources/greenways/NPS3Grnwy.html