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Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
Tahoe Science Projects supported by SNPLMA
Effects of pile burning in the Tahoe Basin on soil and water quality
Final Report [pdf]
Please contact Dr. Matt Busse with questions regarding the final report.
Recent efforts to restore the structure and composition of many western forests have resulted in an increase in the use of pile burning as a fuel reduction tool. Post-thinning slash piles are often relatively small, hand built, and more numerous per unit area compared with traditional tractor piling following intensive harvesting.
Burning of small piles gives managers a cost-effective alternative for reducing fuel loads when prescribed underburning is restricted (e.g., at the wildland-urban interface) or when ground-based mechanical harvesting is prohibited (e.g., slopes exceeding 30%). The ecological effects of pile burning have not been well understood and whether pile burning results in undesirable changes in soil properties or nutrient runoff has been unclear.
The final report presents findings from a three-year study of pile burning in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The goal of the project was to provide scientifically credible results that would inform land managers and the public about potential impacts of pile burning on soil and water quality.
|Last Modified: Nov 21, 2014 02:06:00 PM|