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Hydrologic effects of logging in a watershed

 
 
sumac
 
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 03:09 pm
http://www.northcoastjournal.com/041102/cover0411.html

A very clear picture, despite the objections and denials of timber companies doing the logging, is presented as to the effects of logging on sediment runoff into streams, etc., which often is the source for drinking water.

While water quality may not be significantly impacted, once the sediment and waste byproducts of a logging operation are allowed to 'settle' down to the bottom of the water flow, it could easily constrict, cause to make more shallow and more narrow, the channel through which the water flows. Much like a build up of placque inside blood veins and arteries.

A natural consequence would be an increased risk of flooding where the prior risk had been relatively low. Changing the natural ecology and structure of the area into a floodplain. Decreasing accessibility to homes in the area during flood-prone times of the year, thus decreasing the homes' very valuation by the tax assessor, thereby decreasing the homeowners' property value. Will insurance companies, in time, come to define this area as a floodplain and deny homeowners' insurance, without very costly flood insurance? Will such insurance companies even issue such coverage?
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 02:59 pm
sumac, sorry to have missed this one, I am not sure as how I did, but it happened anyway.

Regarding the drinking water issue, well most areas ahave treatment facilities to remove anything harmful, I wouldnt be that greatly concerned unless it was some dangerous compound which could not be removed, and it sounds like you are talking about sediment, which actually is a natural occurance although, I agree with you that it would be of a larger amount.

I do not beleive however that there are a great many logging operations operating that closely to both small waterways and large housing development areas so, as it could possibly over years and years, perhaps with drought accompanying the situation, when a normal rainfall year was to come along, yes, there could be created a floodplain...i think this however is not the general rule.

Most insurance compaies willnot insure for floodplains, within water areas, etc, it isnt any different than people living on the coastline. At most I think that a state environmental agency would change such an area over timie to conservation land, then we got a whole nother can of worms.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you a quick reply.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 03:18 pm
The WHO is having international discussions on the world wide water supply and how to keep it safe and flowing.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 03:39 pm
quinn "
Quote:
I do not beleive however that there are a great many logging operations operating that closely to both small waterways and large housing development areas so, as it could possibly over years and years, perhaps with drought accompanying the situation, when a normal rainfall year was to come along, yes, there could be created a floodplain...i think this however is not the general rule
."
i suggest you dont move to Colorado or any of the Rocky Mtn states because thats exactly what we have.
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 09:30 pm
Really? Interesting....I never knew! thanks.

Arent you guys currently in a serious drought condition now?
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 09:46 pm
severe drought, some towns are trucking in drinking water, but the thing is there are very few watersheds so any and all logging directly effects our water. i'm not against logging but very strict controls are necessary we immensely need thinning but there is virutally no old growth trees left in the state.
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sumac
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 12:01 am
The "filtering" effect of substantial old growth can't be denied. Forget about runoff with denuded forests for the moment. The ground itself filters impurities out of the water. If you deny that process, then runoff without interruption is the normal result - and none to pretty a consequence..
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 12:35 am
And then there are the people who have move into what was once forest. Last year the fires outside of Denver were disasters but I have to believe that people were the main factor not drought. In the second grade, 1953 I think, Denver suffered severe drought and there were huge fines for using water to water lawns or wash cars.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2003 04:11 am
We have that problem in Maine. They clearcut large tracts down to the stream sides and then we have 5 or more years of really erosive runnoff and lousy fishing. I was at a selectmans meeting this year and through our land trust, gave some points about the pre logging plans being made up with a significant riparian buffer zone (at least 100 ft from stream where the vegetation is left alone and roads are not created as impromptu stream crossings) The selectmen were going to advise the conservation district of this desired plan. Right now there are "experts" hired by the logging companies who are being told to find things wrong with this concept. At least the logging companies replant rather quickly . Their idea is to establish buffer zones AFTER logging. duhhh.
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