Executive Summary

Each year, landslides throughout the United States result in numerous deaths and injuries, and considerable property loss, ecological damage, and economic disruption. The committee is convinced that a more aggressive national program to mitigate landslide hazards is needed, and commends the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for taking a leadership role by compiling a National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy. This strategy describes a range of partnerships in broad outline—with state and local governments to assess and map landslide hazards; with other federal agencies to increase agency capabilities to address landslide hazards; and with universities, local governments, and the private sector to support research and implementation efforts.

The committee considers that the USGS proposal is both timely and conceptually sound in broad outline, and agrees that the emphasis on partnerships is appropriate and necessary. It should be considered as an initial approach to a significant challenge— how to bring together the substantial but uncoordinated efforts of various agencies, researchers, and consultants throughout the country to understand, identify, and mitigate landslides. The committee concurs that an integrated program where the roles and responsibilities of multiple agencies are defined must be developed. The committee is satisfied that the proposed USGS national strategy has identified most major partners, and notes that some detail concerning the potential USGS role in a national program has been presented. Additional definition of the roles and responsibilities of the other major partners will be required. The committee suggests that the proposed strategy would benefit from development of additional partnerships with the financial community, educators at all levels, and Canadian and Mexican authorities.

As different states, and different agencies within states, have variable approaches to hazard mapping and mitigation, any comprehensive national approach must accept and work with this absence of uniformity. The national strategy must be based upon strong cooperative programs with state geological surveys, highway departments and other responsible state and local agencies. A national landslide hazard mitigation strategy should include extensive outreach, educational, and technology transfer components if it is to successfully address the diversity and breadth of landslide hazards.



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Assessment of Proposed Partnerships to Implement a National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy: Interim Report Executive Summary Each year, landslides throughout the United States result in numerous deaths and injuries, and considerable property loss, ecological damage, and economic disruption. The committee is convinced that a more aggressive national program to mitigate landslide hazards is needed, and commends the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for taking a leadership role by compiling a National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy. This strategy describes a range of partnerships in broad outline—with state and local governments to assess and map landslide hazards; with other federal agencies to increase agency capabilities to address landslide hazards; and with universities, local governments, and the private sector to support research and implementation efforts. The committee considers that the USGS proposal is both timely and conceptually sound in broad outline, and agrees that the emphasis on partnerships is appropriate and necessary. It should be considered as an initial approach to a significant challenge— how to bring together the substantial but uncoordinated efforts of various agencies, researchers, and consultants throughout the country to understand, identify, and mitigate landslides. The committee concurs that an integrated program where the roles and responsibilities of multiple agencies are defined must be developed. The committee is satisfied that the proposed USGS national strategy has identified most major partners, and notes that some detail concerning the potential USGS role in a national program has been presented. Additional definition of the roles and responsibilities of the other major partners will be required. The committee suggests that the proposed strategy would benefit from development of additional partnerships with the financial community, educators at all levels, and Canadian and Mexican authorities. As different states, and different agencies within states, have variable approaches to hazard mapping and mitigation, any comprehensive national approach must accept and work with this absence of uniformity. The national strategy must be based upon strong cooperative programs with state geological surveys, highway departments and other responsible state and local agencies. A national landslide hazard mitigation strategy should include extensive outreach, educational, and technology transfer components if it is to successfully address the diversity and breadth of landslide hazards.

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