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Extension > Environment > Trees and woodlands > Forest management practices fact sheet: Managing water series > Project closure

Project closure

Best Management Practices (BMPs) can prevent or minimize the impact of forestry activities on rivers, lakes, streams, groundwater, wetlands, and visual quality.


After forest activities have ended, forest roads and trails remain. If these roads aren't maintained, they may erode and contaminate area waters. However, steps can be taken to either temporarily or permanently close roads and limit erosion. Closing roads also reduces maintenance costs.

Where used

Project closure measures should be used for all forest roads, trails, and landings that are to be temporarily or permanently closed. Temporary closure may be needed during breakup or wet periods to protect a traffic surface. Permanent closure should be considered whenever use will cease for more than five years.


When temporarily closing a road:

When permanently closing a road:



Properly closing forest projects results in cleaner water and improved habitat. In the long run, proper closure of all roads, trails, and landings, and regular maintenance on temporarily closed roads can save money.


Proper closure of roads, trails and landings requires additional advance planning and effort.

University of Minnesota Extension Service, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Logger Education Program, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State University Extension, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

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