Water & Watersheds
About this Research:
Contributing Scientists and Staff:
Publications and Products:
- CALFED watershed improvement program on the Lassen National Forest.
Water is the single most important commodity produced from California's forests. In addition to providing irrigation and power, and serving domestic and industrial uses, water provides habitat for commercial and sport fishery and the basis for a multi-million-dollar recreation industry.
Maintaining healthy watersheds is a top priority for the Forest Service, which has the maintenance of water quality as one of its original legislative mandates. Long-term maintenance of water quality requires healthy forests, but certain land management activities may adversly affect water quality.
An important role of Station scientists is to consider cumulative effects resulting from such activities and to provide a level of understanding from which sound land management and restoration decisions can be made.
Caspar Creek Watershed Study: Since 1962,
researchers have been studying the nature of hydrologic, erosion, and sedimentation
impacts of logging operations on northern California watersheds. The Caspar Creek
Experimental Watershed Study, located on the Jackson Demonstration State Forest
near Fort Bragg, California, is a cooperative venture of the Redwood Sciences
Laboratory and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Fine Sediment in Pools:
V* is a measure of the supply of excess fine sediment
(sand and fine gravel) in gravel bed channels. The method was developed in
1990 as part of our work on the effects of sediment on channel form.
Kings River Experimental Watershed: Characteristics of streams and rivers serve as integrators of broader environmental conditions because they reflect the conditions of the surrounding landscape (Hunsaker and Levine, 1995; Naiman and Bilby, 1998). Activities within a watershed, whether natural or anthropogenic, influence the most basic aspects of the hydrologic cycle. Vegetation absorbs and transpires water to the atmosphere; roads channelize water to streams; wildfire and logging decrease soil permeability; and dams alter the timing, frequency, and intensity of peak flows. All of these alterations directly impact habitat, trophic structure, and species demography, as well as physical and chemical processes.
Turbidity Threshold Sampling Study:
Turbidity threshold sampling
is an automated procedure for measuring turbidity and sampling suspended sediment.
The data logger program employs turbidity to govern sample collection during
each transport event. The Turbidity Threshold Sampling method is currently
operating at 30 gaging sites in northern California, and at two sites in Arizona.