a zone of water-conservation forests established in accordance with the July 2, 1936, decree of the Central Executive Committee and Sovnarkhoz (Council of the Economy) of the USSR. It is located mainly in the central regions and partly in the western and southern portions of the European USSR, in the basins and along the banks of such large rivers as the Volga, Dnieper, Don, Ural, and Zapadnaia Dvina. The forests in a water-conservation zone ensure the most favorable water regime in the rivers and prevent them from filling with silt. Within a water-conservation zone, both sides of the river are restricted strips. As of Jan. 1, 1966, the restricted strips covered an area of 55.45 million hectares.
There is a special forestry regime in a water-conservation zone. Cutting for principal produce is prohibited in the restricted strips; only cutting for forest maintenance, sanitary felling, and removal of overseasoned stands are carried out. The felling of cleared areas of limited width is permitted beyond the restricted strips. The extent of forest use should not exceed the annual growth of timber. Artificial propagation of trees is widely practiced in water-conservation zones.
V. G. NESTEROV