Hydrologic Effects of a Changing Forest Landscape

Committee on Hydrologic Impacts of Forest Management

Water Science and Technology Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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Committee on Hydrologic Impacts of Forest Management Water Science and Technology Board Division on Earth and Life Studies THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONALACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by Department of the Interior Awards No. INTR-7397. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-12108-8 (Book) International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-12108-6 (Book) International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-12109-5 (PDF) International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-12109-4 (PDF) Library of Congress Control Number: 2008940394 Hydrologic Effects of a Changing Forest Landscape is available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievement of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON HYDROLOGIC IMPACTS OF FOREST MANAGEMENT PAUL K. BARTEN, Chair, University of Massachusetts, Amherst JULIA A. JONES, Vice-Chair, Oregon State University, Corvallis GAIL L. ACHTERMAN, Oregon State University, Corvallis KENNETH N. BROOKS, University of Minnesota, St. Paul IRENA F. CREED, The University of Western Ontario, Canada PETER F. FFOLLIOTT, University of Arizona, Tucson ANNE HAIRSTON-STRANG, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis MICHAEL C. KAVANAUGH, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., Emeryville, California LEE MACDONALD, Colorado State University, Fort Collins RONALD C. SMITH, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama DANIEL B. TINKER, University of Wyoming, Laramie SUZANNE B. WALKER, Azimuth Forest Services, Shelbyville, Texas BEVERLEY C. WEMPLE, University of Vermont, Burlington GEORGE H. WEYERHAEUSER, JR., Weyerhaeuser Company, Washington National Research Council Staff LAUREN E. ALEXANDER, Study Director ELLEN A. DE GUZMAN, Research Associate JULIE VANO, Consultant v

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WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD CLAIRE WELTY, Chair, University of Maryland, Baltimore County JOAN G. EHRENFELD, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey SIMON GONZALEZ, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico CHARLES N. HAAS, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania THEODORE L. HULLAR, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York KIMBERLY L. JONES, Howard University, Washington, D.C. G. TRACY MEHAN III, The Cadmus Group, Inc., Arlington, Virginia JAMES K. MITCHELL, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg DAVID H. MOREAU, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill JAMES M. HUGHES, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia LEONARD SHABMAN, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. DONALD I. SIEGEL, Syracuse University, New York SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN, University of California, Irvine HAME M. WATT, Independent Consultant, Washington, D.C. JAMES L. WESCOAT, JR., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GARRET P. WESTERHOFF, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., White Plains, New York Staff STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director LAUREN E. ALEXANDER, Senior Staff Officer LAURA J. EHLERS, Senior Staff Officer JEFFREY W. JACOBS, Senior Staff Officer STEPHANIE E. JOHNSON, Senior Staff Officer WILLIAM S. LOGAN, Senior Staff Officer M. JEANNE AQUILINO, Financial and Administrative Associate ANITA A. HALL, Senior Program Associate ELLEN A. DE GUZMAN, Research Associate DOROTHY K. WEIR, Research Associate MICHAEL J. STOEVER, Project Assistant vi

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Preface In 1976, a group of Forest Service scientists1 published a seminal volume on forests and water that evaluated the effects of forest management on floods, sedimentation, and water supply. It was one of the first comprehensive attempts to link upstream forest management with downstream water management and supply. For many years, this report served as a critical reference for forest hydrology scientists and managers. Much has changed since 1976. Thirty years ago, no one would have imagined that clear-cutting on public lands in the Pacific Northwest would come to a screeching halt, that farmers would give up water for endangered fish and birds, or that climate change would produce quantifiable changes in forest structure, species, and water supplies. Today, however, these phenomena shape the management of forests and water. Such developments have sharpened public awareness and heightened tensions between water users and water sources. It is time to enumerate these changing factors and assess the science of forest hydrology in light of these dynamic circumstances. The forest hydrology literature is full of articles that have attempted to synthesize, retrospectively, the hydrologic effects of forest management. This literature reflects sharply different views of the magnitude and significance of those effects. To date, there have been no examples in the published literature in which a group of scientists, managers, and practitioners came together and reached consensus on what is known and what needs to be known about the hydrologic effects of forest disturbance and management. This National Research Council (NRC) report, Hydrologic Effects of a Changing Forest Landscape, does just that. This report combines forest and water management perspectives, but the committee strove to exclude value judgments on forest management practices, watershed management, and water augmentation. The NRC committee structure was essential to realizing this major contribution to the forest and water communities because it provided a unique setting for convening experts to reach consensus on these important and timely issues. The members of this NRC committee include scientists, engineers, practitioners, and policy experts from across North America, each with unique perspectives on and knowledge of forests and water. The committee embraced this rare opportunity to integrate diverse expertise and synthesize collective knowledge in a form that advances science and water resource management. The committee hopes that this report is valuable to the next generation of 1 Anderson, H.W., M.D. Hoover, and K.G. Reinhart. 1976. Forests and water: Effects of forest management on floods, sedimentation, and water supply. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, General Technical Report PSW- 18/1976. Berkeley, Calif., 115 pp. vii

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viii Preface scientists, land and water managers, and citizens who strive to sustain water resources from forests in the coming years. The committee's work was made possible by the essential support of the staff of the Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB). Dr. Lauren Alexander, WSTB senior staff officer and study director, played a critical leadership role on behalf of the committee to focus and moderate our discussions and clarify the report’s message at all stages of committee deliberations, report preparation, and completion. The committee is extremely grateful for her skilled management of ideas, her lucid writing, and the long hours she dedicated to the completion of this report. Thanks also go to Julie Vano, an NRC science and technology policy graduate fellow and now a doctoral student at the University of Washington for her valuable contributions. Ellen de Guzman, research associate, sets the standard for efficiency, grace, and field-expedient problem solving in relation to meeting and field trip arrangements, research support, assistance in responding to review, and report publication. Stephen Parker, WSTB director, actively participated in several meetings and lent experience and advice to the chair, committee, and staff. The vice chair of this committee, Dr. Julia Jones of Oregon State University, deserves special mention and praise for her tireless commitment to this report, its clear message, and its completion. Dr. Jones was a central, guiding, and uniting force for the committee, and the committee and staff are most appreciative of her intellectual contributions and commitment to building consensus. Above all, the committee expresses its gratitude for her leadership on this project. Speakers and presenters shared valuable information, insights, and perspectives on the committee’s work during our information gathering meetings in Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. We thank Paul Adams, Oregon State University; Maryanne Bach, Bureau of Reclamation; David Bayles, Pacific Rivers Council; Jarylyn Beek, Bureau of Reclamation; Peter Bisson, U.S. Forest Service; Mike Cloughesy, Oregon Forest Resources Institute; Karl Cordova, Rocky Mountain National Park; Terry Cundy, Potlatch Corporation; Clayton Derby, Platte River Cooperative Agreement; Kelly Elder, U.S. Forest Service; Dallas Emch, Willamette National Forest and Central Cascades Adaptive Management Partnership; Megan Finnessy, McKenzie Watershed Council; Cheryl Friesen, Willamette National Forest and Central Cascades Adaptive Management Partnership; Gordon Grant, U.S. Forest Service; Stan Gregory, Oregon State University; Deborah Hayes, U.S. Forest Service; Polly Hays, U.S. Forest Service; Michelle Isenberg, BASF Corporation; Rhett Jackson, University of Georgia; Linda Joyce, U.S. Forest Service; Calvin Joyner, U.S. Forest Service; Randy Karstaedt, U.S. Forest Service; Dave Kretzing, McKenzie River Ranger District; John Lawson, Bureau of Reclamation; Kara Lamb, Bureau of Reclamation; Dan Levish, Bureau of Reclamation; Ted Lorensen, Oregon Department of Forestry; Chris Jansen Lute, Bureau of Reclamation; Deborah Martin, U.S. Geological Survey; Dale

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Preface ix McCullough, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission; Karl Morgenstern, Eugene Water & Electric Board; Ted Oldenburg, Hoopa Valley Tribal Forestry, California; Fred Ore, Bureau of Reclamation; Nancy Parker, Bureau of Reclamation; Maryanne Reiter, Weyerhaeuser Company; Matt Rea, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Arne Skaugset III, Oregon State University; Thomas Spies, U.S. Forest Service; Brian Staab, U.S. Forest Service; John Stednick, Colorado State University; Randall Stone, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; Fred Swanson, U.S. Forest Service; Rick Swanson, U.S. Forest Service; Brad Taylor, Eugene Water & Electric Board; Albert Todd, U.S. Forest Service; Charles Troendle, U.S. Forest Service (Retired); and Eric Wilkinson, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Robert Beschta, University of Oregon; Terry Cundy, Potlatch Corporation; Thomas Dunne, University of California, Santa Barbara; Rhett Jackson, University of Georgia; J. B. Ruhl, Florida State University; Thomas D. Kyker-Snowman, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; John D. Stednick, Colorado State University; and David A. Woolhiser, consultant. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions and recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Margaret B. Davis, Emeritus, University of Minnesota. Appointed by the National Research Council, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Table of Contents Summary………………………………………………………………………... 1 1 FORESTS, WATER, AND PEOPLE ........................................................ 13 Forests......................................................................................................... 14 Movement of Water Through Forests......................................................... 15 Forest Hydrology ........................................................................................ 17 The NRC Study of Hydrologic Effects of Forest Management.................. 20 2 FORESTS AND WATER MANAGEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES ...................................................................... 23 Forests and Water in the United States ....................................................... 23 Managing Forests and Water ...................................................................... 27 Emerging Issues for Forests and Water ...................................................... 33 Summary..................................................................................................... 41 3 FOREST DISTURBANCE AND MANAGEMENT EFFECTS ON HYDROLOGY.................................................................................... 45 Forest Hydrology Science........................................................................... 45 Modifiers of Forest Hydrology ................................................................... 47 Hydrologic Responses: General Principles................................................. 50 Hydrologic Responses Within Forests........................................................ 51 Changes in Watershed Outputs................................................................... 53 Managing Forests for Water ....................................................................... 73 4 FROM PRINCIPLES TO PREDICTION: RESEARCH NEEDS FOR FOREST HYDROLOGY AND MANAGEMENT............................. 75 Spatial Research Needs............................................................................... 75 Temporal Research Needs .......................................................................... 78 Social Research Needs................................................................................ 83 Cumulative Watershed Effects ................................................................... 85 Summary .................................................................................................... 87 5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FORESTS AND WATER IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY……………..… ................................. .95 Recommendations for Forest Hydrology Scientists.................................... 95 Recommendations for Managers .............................................................. 101 Recommendations for Citizens and Communities .................................... 104 xi

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xii CONTENTS Moving Forward: Forest Hydrology Science and Management in the Twenty-First Century......................................................................... 109 REFERENCES ............................................................................................ …113 APPENDIXES ................................................................................................ 143 A Institutional Governance and Regulations of Forests and Water…………………….................................................................. 145 B Committee Biographical Information…………………………………. ..163