You are here: home   Issues   Troubled Taos   Slip-slidin' away
Topic: Water     Department: Letters

Slip-slidin' away

Document Actions

Thank you for the excellent story "The great runoff runaround" in the July 23, 2012, edition. The article focuses on logging roads, but landslides are another important source of sediment pollution.

Landslides are natural in the young, steep, unstable mountains of the American West, but clear-cutting and logging roads increase their rates by one or two orders of magnitude. Yet neither the Environmental Protection Agency nor any Western state has prohibited logging roads on steep, unstable terrain. As a result, when big storms hit every 10 years or so, thousands of Western logging roads fail catastrophically. In 1997, during one big storm, 300 roads failed on Northern California's Klamath National Forest alone.

Fisheries are not the only resource to suffer; local governments spend millions after the big storms fixing county and state roads and bridges taken out by landslides. In this way, the timber industry and U.S. Forest Service externalize the true cost of logging -- imposing those costs on taxpayers.

Felice Pace
Klamath, California

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. After the standoff, what's next for Bundy and BLM? |
  4. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  5. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone