Water Quality


The department uses best management practices (BMP's) on Tennessee's forest resources, and gives technical assistance to loggers and landowners.  Department foresters visit logging operations to see how well BMP's are being used. With the Tennessee Forestry Association, the Department has given training and technical assistance to over 3,000 foresters, loggers and landowners.

Most clean water comes from forested watersheds, providing drinking water, habitat for aquatic life, and serving many recreational and industrial uses.  BMPs protect that valuable resource.  Tennessee's waters can remain clean as long as the whole forestry community works together; preplanning forestry operations, anticipating problems and designing solutions using BMP's appearing in The Guide to Forestry Best Management Practices in Tennessee.

The Division of Forestry investigates complaints about water pollution caused by timber harvesting. Complaints can be registered at any Division office or at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Environmental Field Office, 1-888-891-TDEC (8332). Directory information is provided on this website and on the TDEC Water Resources site. Complaints can also be registered electronically using the TDEC Water Quality Complaint Form for Logging Activities.

Master Logger Program

The Master Logger Program teaches logging methods that benefit both the industry and the forest.  The Master Logger Program helps loggers increase profitability and professionalism while better understanding business management, forest biology, safety, and OSHA and trucking regulations.  Graduates receive a free one-year membership in the Tennessee Forestry Association and are put on an annual landowner referral list from the Tennessee Division of Forestry.  You may view the list from the Tennessee Forestry Association's searchable database by clicking here.

Its five one-day courses are; first aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), logging safety, forest ecology and BMPs, forest management and silviculture, and business management.  Sessions are usually held one day every two weeks over a period of 10 weeks, with a balance of indoor and outdoor instruction each day.  Participants pay $20 for each session or $100 for the entire workshop, with lunch provided.  Call the Tennessee Forestry Association (615) 883-3832 for more information.

The Master Logger Program continues to increase logger credibility as these workshops gain support among the forestry community and the general public.  Wood product manufacturers now ask suppliers if their wood products were logged by Master Loggers to ensure the wood was harvested using BMPs.  The Master Logger Program is one way to maintain a non-regulatory approach to forestry.

Master Loggers must continue their education to retain Master Logger status.  This is a new requirement initiated by the Tennessee Master Logger Committee to enhance the credibility of our program.

Master Loggers will be issued a card after they receive the eight (8) points of Tennessee Master Logger continuing education credits.  Future renewal dates will be printed on Master Logger cards.

Continuing education credit can be obtained by attending a one-day class.  There will be a fee of $30.00 when you pre-register for the class.

To sign up for classes call the Tennessee Forestry Association at (615) 883-3832.

Dates and locations for upcoming Continuing Education classes are available through the Tennessee Forestry Association Tree Line publication.

NOTE:  According to the Kentucky Forest Conservation Act, to log in Kentucky you must be a Kentucky Master Logger.  If a Tennessee Master Logger fills out a Kentucky Master Logger Reciprocity Form and sends it along with a copy of his/her Tennessee Master Logger Certificate, he/she will become a Kentucky Master Logger for three years and can legally log in Kentucky.


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