Dry creek long-term watershed study: effects of timber harvest on hydrology and sediment export in headwater streams in Southwest GeorgiaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Properly established streamside management zones (SMZs) reduce potential impacts of timber harvesting on stream hydro-period and sediment fluxes. Effects of upland silvicultural practices on stream hydrology and effects of partial harvesting within SMZs on water quality are not well documented. The objectives of this study are to determine the effects of these forest practices on hydrology and sediment export of first-order streams. The study design includes two reference and two treatment watersheds. After 29 months of baseline data collection, the treatment watersheds were harvested, except for SMZs, which were divided into upper and lower sections. The upper section remained as an intact SMZ, while the lower section was thinned to 50 square feet of basal area per acre. Flow and sediment concentrations were continuously monitored at the outlet of treatment and control watersheds. Sediment data has not been analyzed in time for this conference. Twenty-nine months of pretreatment flow data and 12 months of post-treatment data will be discussed in addition to results of breakthrough and windthrow surveys.