TNC Links Forest Thinning to Groundwater Conservation

In an October 27 press release, The Nature Conservancy states that research it has undertaken with Northern Arizona University “has found that accelerated thinning of Arizona’s overgrown ponderosa pine forest will not only help forest health, but potentially yield more water from the forest to benefit the headwater streams and aquifers in the Salt and Verde river watersheds.” The study, based on data collected in the course of the region’s Four Forest Restoration Initiative, finds that lightening the forest’s net transpiration, through thinning, over a significant (15-year) period, produces cumulative, “significant benefits for headwater streams and aquifers and more modest benefits to downstream users.”

TNC suggests this observation may be of use in mitigating the effects of climate change.