Landslides are a component of those agents of nature that transport rock and soil from mountains or hillsides to streams, lakes and seas, where new sedimentary rocks begin to form. Therefore, as well as destructive forces that can be induced by human activity, landslides are part of the earth's natural cyclic process of uplift, erosion, and sedimentation.
With the growth of human population and the increasing habitation of ever-steeper slopes and higher altitudes, Man is both experiencing the effects of landslides and causing landslides with increasing frequency. These adverse effects include loss of life, injury, and damage to public and private works, as well as environmental damage. Accordingly, it is an opportune time to address the hazard posed by landslides, and to assess strategies to mitigate that hazard.
The present report is an interim statement addressing the U.S. Geological Survey's proposal for a national landslide hazards mitigation strategy. The scope of this interim report is constrained to assessing whether all the partners necessary for such a national strategy have been identified by the proposal—conclusions and recommendations to address the remainder of the statement of task will be presented in the committee's final report (e.g., will include comments regarding effective partnership implementation; funding strategies required for an effective mitigation program; and the balance between different components of a national strategy). In addition, in this interim report the committee offers a number of comments intended as interim guidance for the U.S. Geological Survey as it continues to plan a national strategy.