A JFSP Fire Science Exchange Network
Bringing People Together & Sharing Knowledge in the Northern Rockies

Literature review: effects of salvage logging on riparian zones in coniferous forests of eastern Washington and adjacent regions

Author(s): Stephen W. Barrett, Matthew J. Reilly
Year Published: 2017

This Synthesis Report represents the contract final report for Washington State Department of Natural Resources [DNR] contract number PSC 93-095317, titled Literature Review and Synthesis Related to Salvage of Fire Damaged Timber. For this literature review project, contemporary research information was requested by the Scientific Advisory Group Eastside (SAGE) to help support the work of the Cooperative Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research (CMER) committee of the DNR Forest Practices Board. This report provides an overview of the goals, objectives, methods, and results of the project. We reviewed 75 relatively recent publications that provide information about potential effects of salvage logging on riparian areas for eastside forests and comparable forests elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. A major finding from the review is that the literature provides relatively little specific information about the effects of salvage logging in riparian areas. This lack of data applies not only to Washington eastside forests, but for riparian forests elsewhere in the western U.S. The lack of riparian-specific research is likely related to the fact that most modern-day fires have occurred on federal lands, where salvage logging and salvage-related research have been largely absent. Otherwise, the literature contains a wide range of information about the possible effects of salvage logging on adjacent upland forests, which can be useful for developing riparian management strategies. Examples of recent salvage-related research include studies investigating possible effects on soils (e.g., erosion, compaction, hydrophobicity), and studies documenting the effects of various management practices such as differing harvesting methods and equipment, erosion mitigation practices, and varying silvicultural prescriptions. A considerable amount of literature also describes research on post-salvage regeneration issues, and on fuels management practices. Conversely, less information exists about potential effects of salvage logging on riparian ecosystem structure and function, such as stream temperature regimes, water quality issues, aquatic biota, and the effectiveness of forest buffer retention zones. Topics such as salvage effects on soil processes (e.g., nutrient cycling, soil biota), riparian wildlife habitat, riparian restoration, and modern-day riparian fire regimes are also less well represented in the literature. Therefore, after describing the state of relatively recent research on salvage logging in relation to riparian areas, this report concludes by listing some current research gaps that have been identified by various study authors and other professionals. In addition to this Synthesis Report, the literature review project produced the following products: 1) an Excel database housing key data elements for the literature (e.g., authors, publication years, summaries), 2) a User Guide that explains how to efficiently locate and summarize information in the Excel database, and 3) a literature collection composed of downloadable digital copies (pdf files) of each piece of literature reviewed during the project.

Citation: Barrett SW, Reilly M. 2017. Effects of Salvage Logging on Riparian Zones in Coniferous Forests of Eastern Washington and Adjacent Regions. Literature Review: Effects of Salvage Logging on Riparian Zones in Coniferous Forests of Eastern Washington and Adjacent Regions. Cooperative Monitoring Evaluation and Research Report CMER 17-100. Olympia, WA: Washington State Forest Practices Adaptive Management Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, 147 p.
Topic(s): Post-fire Management, Salvage Logging
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 17487
Record updated: Apr 12, 2018