USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics Water & Watersheds

About this Research:
Participating Programs
Contributing Scientists and Staff

Current research at Caspar Creek

Map of the Caspar Creek watershed.
Caspar Creek Experimental Watershed is located on the north coast of California. Numbers indicate the year in which timber harvest began during the first (1971-1973) and second (1985-1991) phases.

The third experiment is underway at Caspar Creek. The overarching objective of the third experiment is to quantify the influence of forest stand density reduction on watershed processes while using the current California Forest Practice Rules.

Logging within four gaged South Fork subwatersheds will allow measurement of the effects of new logging on legacy watershed conditions and on rehabilitated sites, and to better define the effects of selective logging on hydrologic responses.

Once the subwatershed responses are quantified, the portions of the watershed outside of the gaged tributaries will be selectively logged to improve stand conditions. Predictions based on the initial logging phase in gaged subwatersheds will then be tested against measured responses at the mouth of the watershed.

Meanwhile, the portion of the North Fork clearcut in the 1990s continues to regrow, and the gaged subwatersheds will again be available for treatment by about 2050.

Long-term control watersheds have been established in the North and South Fork watersheds; these will provide continuous records from sites in which conditions change only gradually as stands age.