Water quality and forest restoration in the Lake Tahoe Basin: Impacts of future management

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Study found that expected sediment and phosphorus loads were lower under the scenario that emphasized thinning, whereas scenarios that increased prescribed burning resulted in loads that were comparable to scenarios that involved less treatment. These results reflect the finding from the WEPP analysis that prescribed burning is expected to reduce ground cover more than is thinning. Our analysis supports efforts to increase fuel reduction treatments to mitigate future wildfires, but it also suggests that preventative treatments may not avoid a long-term decline in water quality as wildfires increase with climate change.

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