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When Watersheds are Destroyed

When a forest is degraded by the rooting from pigs and other feral animals, rain falling on bare earth causes erosion.  The water-retaining upper layers of the soil are washed away, leaving behind less permeable clays.  Water runs off this impermeable surface instead of filtering down to replenish the aquifer.

Deforested areas expose the soil, intensify runoff and prevent the rainwater from seeping slowly underground to replenish our aquifers. That's why our forests are so important! Streams that emanate from these deforested areas flood during heavy rains due to the inability of the soils to hold water.  Debris carried by the streams quickly ends up in ocean coastal areas, smothering reefs. When the rain stops, these streams run dry because the underground water supply is not recharged.  The loss of stabilizing tree and plant roots also results in landslides. 

When a native forest is eroded and damaged, opportunistic foreign species easily invade.  While these new plants can help stabilize bare ground, the watershed cover they create is typically simple in structure and not as effective as that of native forest. Invasive plants tend to take advantage of disturbed areas from feral ungulate rooting, thereby decreasing the diversity of our forests and out-competing native plants for resources.