An article that looks at the need to thin forests — not just for increased water flows, but forest health, fire risk reduction, etc.”
“It’s one of the lower-cost options (to increase California’s water supply) … and it also would reduce the probability of big destructive fires,” said Roger Bales, a UC Merced engineering professor who specializes in mountain hydrology. “There could be measurable and significant gains” – a hypothesized 9 percent increase in snowmelt runoff – if the forests are properly thinned.
Modesto Bee article: “Overgrown Sierra forests gulping water that could flow to Valley.”
This can’t be done without removing biomass — in other words, reducing the leaf-area index. If the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan were enacted as federal law, this might happen. Otherwise, it’ll never happen on a large scale, as appeals and litigation will continue to restrict forest management in the Sierras.