Excerpt from the report: Good forests help lessen floods. Snow melt is slower under timber than in the open. Not that the best and most complete forest cover could have prevented the Columbia River flood. There was simply too much water from melting snow and rain even for Nature's vast soil reservoir to hold it all back. But without the trees and other vegetation the flood would have been larger and more destructive. Trees wrote that story in white on many timbered high-mountain ranges in the Columbia River Basin in the spring of 1948.