Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


ispanic farmers in Colorado's poorest county have been trying to stop a "timber baron" from logging his land, arguing that the removal of trees threatens their irrigation practices. In the last three years logging companies have cut about one-third of the timber volume on Zachary Taylor's land, which serves as the watershed for San Luis Valley near the New Mexico border. But down-valley farmers say deforestation is eroding hillsides and clogging their century-old irrigation system and reducing necessary summer runoff needed to support their economy. In May and June of 1997, suspended and bedload sediment samples were taken and analyzed from 16 sampling sites on several different rivers just down stream from the Taylor Ranch property line. These samples were used in conjunction with aerial photographs and satellite imagery to determine possible relationships between disturbances from logging activities (including road building) and sediment yield. The main role of this study is to develop information upon which an attempt to legally halt further watershed degradation could be based.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute

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