POULTNEY, VT – Stream crossings are a common challenge for loggers throughout Vermont. Portable Skidder Bridges, available for rent, allow loggers to harvest timber while following the “Acceptable Management Practices for
Maintaining Water Quality on Logging Jobs in Vermont” (AMPs). Portable bridges are easy to transport, install and remove for re-use at multiple sites.
Loggers “lift” and place the bridges across streams to mitigate instability, erosion and water quality problems. The bridges are built in three 4’x20’ panels, which are placed next to each other to create a 12’ wide bridge. Bumper logs or brush are placed at the approaches of the bridge to stabilize the bridge and protect the butt ends of the bridge panels from impact during crossings.
Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (PMNRCD) built their first bridge this year for use on timber harvesting operations. This portable skidder bridge was made possible through an Ecosystem Restoration Program grant to the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts and with assistance from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. This grant has benefited conservation districts in Vermont to augment their existing supply of skidder bridges and has enabled the start-up of this new program offered by the PMNRCD.
Skidder bridges are available for rental from each of the Natural Resources Conservation Districts in Vermont for $100 a month. PMNRCD’s bridge is built through the Stafford Technical Center Forestry and Natural Resources Program in Rutland and will be staged at Northeast Timber Exchange in Castleton for convenient pick up and return. Please call Beth Miller, PMNRCD at 802-235-2734 for more information and reservation of the bridge.
Loggers who rent bridges are provided an educational packet that illustrates guidelines to follow for installation, use and removal of the bridges while following Acceptable Management Practices for Maintaining Water Quality on Logging Jobs in Vermont. For more information on this program and other Vermont Conservation Districts’ skidder bridge programs, please visit the Agency of Natural Resources Forests, Parks and Recreation webpage:
Photo: Courtesy of VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation