Trees that grow along a streamside can often fall into a watercourse due to floods, erosion, windthrow, disease, beaver activity, or natural mortality. These materials, often referred to as Large Woody Debris (LWD), can include whole trees with a root wad and limbs attached or portions of trees with or without root wads or limbs. Landowners, municipal public works crews, and others often remove LWD as part of a flood cleanup, erosion control, or stream improvement project.
LWD removal should only be considered when there is compelling evidence that it is causing flooding of private/public infrastructure, significant streambank erosion, or is a navigational hazard. A permit from DEP may be required for LWD removal. Where LWD absolutely has to be cut, wood can be floated, repositioned and anchored to the shoreline, so its ecological benefits are not lost.
The York County Conservation District’s Large Woody Debris Program offers financial and technical assistance to private/public landowners and managers for the purpose of LWD management/removal and to address streambank and channel erosion, through local watershed-based planning, restoration, and protection efforts. Assistance is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, as long as time and resources allow.
Priority activities for which the Conservation District seeks proposals, in decreasing order of importance, include:
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