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Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
Research Topics Water & Watersheds
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Maintaining healthy watersheds is a top priority
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 multimillion-dollar recreation industry.
One of the original legislative mandates of the Forest Service is the maintenance of water quality. Long-term maintenance of water quality requires healthy forests, and certain land management activities may adversely 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: For the past 39 years, 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 that has been operating continuously since 1962.
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.
|Last Modified: May 15, 2015 03:19:09 PM|