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Logging impacts of the 1970's vs. the 1990's in the Caspar Creek watershedAuthor(s): Peter H. Cafferata; Thomas E. Spittler
Source: In: Ziemer, Robert R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the conference on coastal watersheds: the Caspar Creek story, 6 May 1998; Ukiah, California. General Tech. Rep. PSW GTR-168. Albany, California: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 103-115
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: View PDF (190 KB)
DescriptionThe Caspar Creek watershed study provides resource professionals with information regarding the impacts of timber operations conducted under varying forest practices on sensitive aquatic habitats. In the South Fork watershed, roads were constructed near watercourse channels in the 1960's, and the watershed was selectively logged using tractors during the early 1970's. Subwatersheds in the North Fork were clearcut from 1985 to 1991 using predominantly cable yarding and roads located high on ridges. Numerous landslides were documented after road construction and logging in the South Fork owing to inadequate road, skid trail, and landing design, placement, and construction. In contrast, the size and number of landslides after timber operations in the North Fork to date have been similar in logged and unlogged units. Considerably more hillslope erosion and sediment yield have also been documented after logging operations in the South Fork when compared to the North Fork. An analysis of the storm events associated with documented landslides showed that high 3-day or 10-day precipitation totals in combination with moderately high 1-day amounts have been more important than very high 1-day totals alone in triggering debris sliding at Caspar Creek. Storm sequences meeting the criteria required for causing documented landslides were found to have occurred in all phases of the 36-year study, with the greatest number occurring in water year 1998. Numerous large landslides associated with the road system in the South Fork occurred in early 1998, indicating that "legacy" roads continue to be significant sources of sediment decades after they were constructed.
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CitationCafferata, Peter H.; Spittler, Thomas E. 1998. Logging impacts of the 1970''s vs. the 1990''s in the Caspar Creek watershed. In: Ziemer, Robert R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the conference on coastal watersheds: the Caspar Creek story, 6 May 1998; Ukiah, California. General Tech. Rep. PSW GTR-168. Albany, California: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 103-115
KeywordsCaspar Creek, watershed, stream, geology, geomorphology, logging impacts
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