Effects of Forest Management on Stream Flow

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Modern forestry result in rapid clearcutting and plantation planting result in significant changes to Summer stream flows stream flow and related Water qualitywater quality parameters.


  • File:Dickerson-Lange 2017 nooksack watershed management watershed function.pdf-describes modelling describing effects of forest practices on stream flow.
  • Oliver Grah using VELMA and other modelling techniques suggests that old growth may be responsible for a 25% increase in low summer flow, and similarly creating gap cuts in a continuous canopy results in more snow storage and also a 25% increase in low summer flow.
    • Manke Lumber Co. v. Dept of Ecology provided landmark case.
    • Legislation is needed to protect water savings earned through changes in forest practices.
    • Nooksack Tribe invovled in three landmark cases since 2009.
    • Stewart Mountain Community Forest project developing in the South Fork Nooksack Watershed
    • Forest transpiration rate changes significantly after 80 years in age.
  • Does WDNR's adaptive management of the Washington Forest Practices Act relate to these efforts?
  • Alexander Harris (WWU), Acme, WA MA - Restoring the Nooksack Watershed Through Community Forestry.
    • Website https://www.sfnooksack.com contains resources.
    • 60 years of data from paired watersheds show current forest practices reduces summer streamflow by 50% (Segura et al 2020, Perry & Jones 2017).
    • Proposes development of Community Forests at scale to address stream flow issues.