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Best Management Practices for Scenic Rivers

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are methods or technologies that, if correctly applied, effectively minimize adverse impacts of development activities. LDWF requires using BMPs when conducting development activities adjacent to Scenic Rivers.

General Construction BMPs

  •  Maintain a minimum vegetated riparian buffer width of 100 feet between any proposed development and stream banks. Vegetated riparian buffers provide the following benefits:
    • Protect water quality
    • Provide wildlife habitat and wildlife corridors
    • Provide shade to lower water temperatures, which improves habitat for aquatic organisms
    • Maintain bank stability
    • Reduce flood flow
    • Provide a source of detritus and woody debris for aquatic and terrestrial organisms
    • Increase carbon storage.
  • Avoid disturbing the forest floor and stream banks and exposing soils. 
  • Stabilize disturbed soils within riparian areas and other potentially erosive areas. Acceptable measures include to the proper use and positioning of temporary silt fences, straw bales, fiber/core logs, and wooden barriers, seeding or sodding of exposed soils, or other approved Environmental Protection Agency construction site stormwater runoff control practices and BMPs. Control techniques shall be installed prior to the commencement of earthwork activities and maintained until the project is complete and/or the subject areas are stabilized. Upon the completion of construction activities or if at any time construction activities cease for more than 14 days, all disturbed soils shall be revegetated by sod, seed, or another acceptable method, as necessary, to restore cover and prevent erosion.
    • Silt fencing is a simple, relatively affordable and readily available sediment control device. When installed correctly, it is effective at trapping sediments. Fencing is installed with stakes on the downslope side and with bottom edge of the fabric buried beneath the ground surface. Silt fencing shall be maintained to ensure that it remains effective.
  • Handle and store toxic and hazardous material such as fuels and lubricants outside of riparian areas.
  • Use clean fill material from an acceptable sources (i.e. not from adjacent wetlands or streams).  Clean fill is native soil, sand, or gravel that is free of contaminants, debris, trash, asphalt, etc.  Install individual domestic waste disposal systems (e.g. septic tank, mechanical plant, etc.) and manage the discharge from these systems in a way that does not affect the water quality of a Scenic River or its tributary. Do not discharge directly into a Scenic River. Discharges in the vicinity of a system stream may require a Scenic Rivers Permit [***Link to permit page***]; please contact LDWF if your planned discharge has the potential to impact a system stream.
  • All loose materials used during construction activities shall be fastened or secured to prevent trash and debris from entering a Scenic River.

Oil and Natural Gas BMPs


  • No placement of shot holes within 100 feet of a Scenic River.
  • No mechanized clearing within 300 feet of a Scenic River.
  • Lay by hand, without using machinery, all receiving lines that must cross a Scenic River. Boats may be used in the process.


  • Use a closed-loop drilling fluid system when drilling wells within 500 feet of a Scenic River.
  • Install and maintain adequate sediment control measures before and during project implementation to ensure that no sediment or construction-related debris enters a Scenic River, wetlands, or any intermittent and perennial streams.


  • A pipeline crossing of a Scenic River must be horizontal directionally drilled (HDD) or bored. The drill entry and exit workspaces must be located at a minimum of 100 feet from the mean low water mark of the stream.
  • No clearing of right-of-way above the directionally drilled or bored segment of a pipeline is authorized; only minimal line of sight clearing will be authorized.

Liquid Products

  • Install shut-off valves capable of completely stopping all product flow at both the drill pipe entry and exit (i.e. on both banks of a Scenic River).
  • No clearing of right-of-way above the directionally drilled or bored segment of a pipeline is authorized; only minimal line of sight clearing will be authorized.
  • Develop an operational contingency or emergency spill response plan that details identification and response to a potential product loss.

Sand and Gravel Mining BMPs


  • A sand and gravel pit must be located in area that precludes pit capture. Pit capture occurs when a natural buffer separating a pit from a Scenic River is breached by streambank erosion, channel migration, or overflowing floodwaters. Pits must be located outside of a Scenic River channel migration zone (area where a river channel is likely to move over a period of time) and in areas not susceptible to inundation from overbank flooding. Always contact LDWF before determining the location of the mining site.
  • Maintain vegetated buffers, a minimum of 100 feet in width, between land disturbance activities (e.g. construction of access and haul roads, wash plants, processing plants, maintenance and staging areas) and all intermittent and perennial streams that flow into Scenic Rivers.
  • Handle and store toxic and hazardous material such as fuels and lubricants outside of riparian areas.
  • Do not operate bulldozers, trackhoes, graders, or other land-clearing equipment within wetlands or any perennial streams. 

Pre-Mining Phase

  • When constructing elevated access roads, install adequately sized culverts to carry surface water flow across the road. Maintain culverts to ensure that existing flow of surface water is not compromised.
  • Install and maintain silt fencing adjacent to constructed roads and land that is cleared and grubbed.

Mining Phase

  • In wet processing, pump water must flow back into the mining pit and must not enter adjacent streams or wetlands. Install proper berms or levees to ensure that pump water returns to the open pit.
  • Route runoff from stockpiles of overburden, sand, and gravel back to the open pit and contain runoff using silt fencing, berms, vegetated buffers, etc.
  • Minimize the catchment of the mining pond to avoid the need for process water discharges.  Streams should not flow into ponds; they should be isolated to the greatest extent practicable.

Post-Mining Phase

  • Produce a slope of at least 4:1 (H:V) on the edge of borrow pits once mining has ceased. Pit side slopes that are 4:1, or more gently sloping, improve wildlife access and revegetation capability and are safer for users.
  • Recontour and resurface excavated areas using stockpiled topsoil and sand. Restore soil profile to pre-mining conditions. Stabilize topsoil by seeding.
  • Regrade constructed access roads and remove installed culverts if no longer needed.

Streambank Stabilization BMPs

Coming soon.

Timber Harvesting BMPs

Coming soon.

Water Withdrawal BMPs

Coming soon.

 More Information