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Sediment and erosion issues related to unpaved and native surfaced roads are important to forest management for recreation, wildlife, and timber production. Forest road erosion accounts for the majority of erosion in forestlands. Road management for these forest areas receives increasing pressures to reduce the amount of erosion that occurs on forest roads to create the lowest impact on the environment and to keep our natural world as picturesque and untouched as possible. While soil erosion is an inevitable and naturally occurring phenomenon, it is greatly accelerated by human interaction. In the future, this could potentially result in degraded water quality considering that forest watersheds are highly valuable in protecting and improving water. Increased land development / land use change in the U.S. threatens the quality of water that flows through forested watersheds.
AWAE scientists studying soil erosion focus on mitigation techniques, prediction & processes, fire & fuel effects, soil carbon decomposition rates, the potential effects of climate change, and more. The Sediment Transport page contains data and related publications for research conducted by RMRS scientists in Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming.
AWAE scientists involved in sediment and erosion research include: