- Copyright © 2015, Environmental & Engineering Geoscience
Scientific literature is replete with papers describing application of new technologies to the study of landslides and advances in our understanding of factors affecting landslide occurrence, distribution, and movement. Far fewer papers look at how this knowledge is implemented to achieve landslide risk reduction. State and local governments exercise the greatest control on how landslide risk reduction is accomplished. Data generated from a questionnaire to State Geological Surveys, review of Survey websites, and two case studies demonstrate that progress has been made during the last 20 years in implementing actionable policy changes and programs to achieve a reduction is landslide risk in the United States. This progress is made evident by measures at the State government level, primarily involving State Geological Surveys, in categories defined by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy. These measures specifically examine actions in the areas of: a) developing guidelines and training, b) public awareness and education, c) implementation of loss reduction measures, and d) emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. Since 1995, positive change is evident for both increased landslide knowledge and greater implementation of landslide risk reduction actions. However, it is unclear whether the rate of change to reduce landslide risk is keeping pace with the rate of increased landslide knowledge.