Category: Ecological Research
Title: Fact Sheet: Estimating the Effect of Forest Restoration on Water Resources in Northern Arizona. ERI Fact Sheets.
Author: O’Donnell, F.
Subject: Forest Restoration, Water Resources
Abstract: The ponderosa pine ecosystem is a vital source of water resources. Though they cover just 20 percent of the watershed area, about 50 percent of the water in the Salt River originates from areas covered by ponderosa forest. It is possible that restoration treatments will increase the amount of streamflow coming from forests. By reducing forest density, thinning treatments reduce the amount of water used by trees, allowing more to run off into streams and recharge into aquifers. They also increase open spaces where snow accumulates and melts rather than being intercepted by tree canopies where a large fraction evaporates. When forest restora-tion is performed over large areas through the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), which proposes to treat 1 million of the 2.4 million acres of ponderosa forest in northern and eastern Arizona, the effect on flow in major rivers may be detectable. The objective of our study was to estimate the increase in streamflow that can be expected following restoration.
Type: Fact Sheet
Source: ERI - Fact Sheet
Publisher: Ecological Restoration Institute