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Logging and Forest Roads Related to Increased Debris Slides in Southwestern Oregon

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Debris slides over a 20-year period were inventoried on 137,500 acres of forested land in the Klamath Mountains of southwest Oregon. Frequency during the study period was about one slide every 4.3 years on each 1,000 acres--an erosion rate of about ½ yd³ per acre per year. Erosion rates on roads and landings were 100 times those on undisturbed areas, while erosion on harvested areas was seven times that of undisturbed areas. Three-quarters of the slides were found on slopes steeper than 70 percent and half were on the lower third of slopes. The study area was subdivided into nine geomorphological erosion response units which exhibited profound differences in natural erosion rates and responses to disturbance. The results serve as a guide to appraising slide risk associated with planned timber harvests or road construction on forested slopes.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Supervisory Hydrologist, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Arcata, California

Publication date: 1985-04-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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