The Forestry Best Management Practices (BMP) Notification Law (76-13-101 to 104 and 76-13-131 to 135 MCA) became part of the Protection of Forest Resources law in 1989. The Notification Law text is incorporated into the Text Slash and Debris Law in 76-13-420 to 424 MCA. The amendments adopted at that time require landowners or operators to notify the Department prior to conducting forest practices on private lands. The Department (DNRC) is charged with providing these landowners and operators with information on BMP's which may be delivered through an on site visit Notification is served when an application for a Hazard Reduction Agreement is submitted. The DNRC is also charged with monitoring the application and effectiveness of the BMP’s.
BMP's are practices that have been adopted to minimize non-point source water pollution from forest practices. While not required by regulation, the use of BMP's has been widely accepted by the forest products industry, family forests, tribal and other agencies. If you own forest land, work in the forest or are interested in forests, this publication is for you. It contains BMP guidelines and explains reasons for using BMP's, not just the rules.
The use of voluntary BMP's has proven to be an effective tool in limiting non-point source pollution from forest harvesting activities. The Forestry Practices Program leads a biennial audit of the application and effectiveness of BMP's on selected high risk sites. When the first audit was conducted in 1990, 78% of practices met or exceeded BMP standards. In 1998 (the fifth audit cycle) the audit results achieved a 94% rating and has met or exceeded that rating ever since. The most recent audit in 2006 found that 96% of practices met or exceeded BMP standards.