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Agriculture and Forestry

Agricultural and forestry development together total approximately 80% of the gross-scale land use in the Appalachian LCC and are driving forces in forest stand quality, forest fragmentation, erosion and sedimentation, pollutant run-off, water quality, and stream stability.  Forested riparian corridors are inadequate or lacking along significant stretches of Appalachian streams, and this may be the biggest challenge to overcome in relation to these industries.  Best management practices (BMPs) required to mitigate these impacts are well established but more widespread use of BMPs is needed.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), universities and others are continuously testing techniques that might improve efficacy and/or reduce landowner costs.  The Appalachian LCC could serve an important role in coordinating monitoring to establish baseline and incremental improvements in habitat quality, habitat connectivity, and population viability as a result of strategically planned BMP implementation.  Human dimensions research would help clarify reasons that landowners might decline to participate in BMP cost-share programs, and identify the most effective incentives to increase participation.

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