A Forest Is A Levee

River Dora Riparia in Susa Valley is alpine however with particularities of plain running waters. “We are basically on a plain here, but at 1000m altitude,” says Anna Lannfranco, responsible with Water Management with the Region of Piedmont.

We are in an alluvial zone and forestry must go in the flooded areas, she adds. Young vegetation on the sides, low and elastic, slows down the redistribution of water. They are being followed by firmer forest, usually of pine essence and with correspondent ecosystems.

Water and flood directives require innovative approaches and “now we are planning the afforestation of the valley; we analyze the morphological condition of the river and we introduced a new tool, a re-vegetation plan,” says Lannfranco.

These plants appear to be the win-win solution for Piedmont as such rivers cannot possibly be leveed. However, cooperation is needed when dealing with flood protection. Consequences of floods are way reduced with this extended Reparian vegetation plan.

Today’s work consists of a survey of the current situation and consequently drawing a map of the forest that can be used as flood protection. Also, legal matters related to identification of public and private properties are a cornerstone of the project.

Lucia Caffo, local forester, underlines the concept of hydro-property (the area where the river flows or used to flow) becomes communal. The properties (public or private) also qualify as Natura 2000 sites. So they add another level of protection that, on the flipside, doubles the administrative effort.

The management plan should be legally binding and is included in the regional forest management legislation.


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