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Persistence of historical logging impacts on channel form in mainstem North Fork Caspar CreekAuthor(s): Michael B. Napolitano
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: 97-101
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: View PDF (80 KB)
DescriptionThe old-growth redwood forest of North Fork Caspar Creek was clear-cut logged between 1860 and 1904. Transportation of logs involved construction of a splash dam in the headwaters of North Fork Caspar Creek. Water stored behind the dam was released during large storms to enable log drives. Before log drives could be conducted, the stream channel had to be prepared by removing all obstructions, including large woody debris jams, from the channel. Comparison of present-day woody debris loading on North Fork Caspar Creek (24 kg m-2) to physically similar streams in old-growth redwood basins (49 to 268 kg m-2) suggests that wood-loading and stability were greatly diminished by historical logging activities and change to second-growth cover. These changes are important, as woody debris creates large-volume, long-term sediment storage sites and diverse aquatic habitat conditions. Although historical logging appears to have caused lasting channel changes, including channel incision, simplification of form, and reduction in sediment storage capability, the significance of habitat-related changes remains unclear.
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CitationNapolitano, Michael B. 1998. Persistence of historical logging impacts on channel form in mainstem North Fork Caspar Creek. 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: 97-101
KeywordsCaspar Creek, logging impacts, watershed, large woody debris, sediment, channel form
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