In the News

'Watering the forest for the trees' emerging as priority for forest management

“Our work emphasizes how forests primarily need and consume water, and so managing forest health requires thinking about how much water is available for forests, how forests use that water, and how management strategies can mitigate increasing drought stress,” said station research hydrologist Gordon Grant, who led the analysis.



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Climate Change impact on stream flow differs according to location

A new analysis of river basins in the western United States suggests that climate change will have the greatest impact on summer stream flows in those waterways that might seem less vulnerable – the large, snow-fed rivers that originate in the high Cascades and other mountain ranges.

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Bad news for Fish: lowest fall stream flows moving closer to summer's high temperature

"The problem is that these two events, high temperature and low flow, are very stressful for fish and other aquatic organisms," said Ivan Arismendi, the study's lead author and a research professor in OSU's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. "Because these two extreme events are occurring more closely to each other, they have less time to recover or adapt to be ready for the next one."

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Cry Me a River

Gordon Grant is a fluvial geomorphologist and research hydrologist with the Forest Service. He has studied the mechanics of the McKenzie as it comes up against competing demands for the river’s water, from urban to agricultural to habitat use as well as changes in land use and climate change. Grant says the McKenzie’s water flows come from two dramatically different systems in the relatively young High Cascades and in the elderly 10 to 20 million-year-old Western Cascade Mountains. “One of the punchlines I like to use is ‘Geology is destiny,’” he says.

Univeristy hosts forum on effects of dams on rivers

“Virtually all dams block the migration of fish,” said Grant, a research hydrologist with the U.S. department of agriculture’s forest service. There are several strategies that can be employed to help fish continue on their seasonal journeys, but all are very expensive.

Dams also block the flow of sediments that sometimes contain harmful chemicals.

“You may have 40, 50, 60 years of agricultural chemicals that may have come down and accumulated in the sediments,” Grant said.