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    Description

    Increasingly, forests are being valued for goods and services beyond wood fibre; one of these is protection forests. Functions provided by natural and managed forests have been associated with reduced hazards from floods, debris floods, debris flows, snow avalanches and rockfalls. Maintaining a high level of protection may require active management, as forests are dynamic and the protection capabilities are strongly determined by forest condition. The nature of protection provided varies depending upon the hazard processes and pathways, and the relative spatial orientation of the hazard, the forest, and the features being protected. Hazard processes and pathways need to be understood for protection forest management so that the expected protective functions can be well predicted. Protective functions of forests include: 1) retaining material in upslope positions; and 2) containing, confining and resisting material during transport and deposition. These effects are primarily realized through: 1) soil conditioning and macropore creation; 2) root reinforcement and 3) presence of above ground structural elements. Recognition of these functions of protection forests and their relations with hydrogeomorphic hazards will contribute to the best management of protection forests.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Sakals, Matt E.; Innes, John L.; Wilford, David J.; Sidle, Roy C.; Grant, Gordon E. 2006. The role of forests in reducing hydrogeomorphic hazards. Forest Snow Landscape Research. 80(1): 11-22

    Keywords

    protection forests, hydrogeomorphic hazards, debris flow, debris flood, flood, snow avalanche, rockfall, forest function

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/27230