Watershed Condition Framework
The Forest Service has released the first national Watershed
Condition Framework and the accompanying Watershed
Condition Classification Technical Guide. The Watershed Condition Framework establishes a new consistent, comparable, and credible process for improving the health of watersheds on national forests and grasslands. This framework will help focus our efforts in a consistent and accountable manner and facilitate new investments in watershed restoration that will provide economic and environmental benefits to local communities. The technical guide provided the protocol for the agency's first national assessment of watershed condition across all 193 million acres of National Forest System lands. <Alternative site for Framework and Technical Guide>
Watershed Condition and Prioritization Interactive Map Website
Watershed condition classification was completed on National
Forest System lands in May of 2011. During the summer and fall
of 2011, priority watersheds were identified and work began
on Watershed Restoration Action Plans. Watershed Restoration
Action Plans are programmatic documents in which the Forest
Service describes existing resource conditions and identifies
possible management actions that could be taken to move the
Agency towards a desired future condition. If the Forest Service
determines that it wants to move forward with any of these possible
actions, the proposed actions will be subject to National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) requirements at the time the projects are
proposed. NEPA may have already been completed or may be underway
on some of the projects described in the Action Plans.
The results of the Forest Service Watershed Condition Framework
planning work are available through a map viewer website where
users can view the priority watersheds, read about why the watershed
was selected, download the Watershed Restoration Action Plans
and learn about other important planning items, including estimated
costs and restoration partners. Each watershed on the
map also contains information on the overall watershed condition
rating and the individual rating of its 12 watershed condition
The U.S. Forest Service's watershed condition classification, priority watershed designation and Watershed Restoration Action Plans are the first three steps in the agency's Watershed Condition Framework. This interactive mapping capability will better provide current and future partners important information on potential needs for watershed restoration and maintenance and will also increase the public's awareness of their local watershed conditions and the role they can play in improving them.
Watershed Condition Classification Maps
The Watershed Condition Classification maps characterize the health and condition of National Forest System lands in the more than 15,000 watersheds across the country. These maps are the culmination of the first step in the agency's Watershed Condition Framework, instituted in 2011, and is the baseline condition that will be used along with information on ecological, social and economic factors and partnership opportunities to establish watershed restoration priorities.
Map (6.74mb | PDF)
1 (3.86mb | PDF) - Montana, Northern Idaho, North Dakota,
Northwestern South Dakota and Northeast Washington.
2 (3.43mb | PDF) - Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and most
of Wyoming and South Dakota.
3 (4.68mb | PDF) - New Mexico and Arizona.
4 (5.81mb | PDF) - Southern Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Western
5 (5.36mb | PDF) - California.
6 (5.86mb | PDF) - Washington and Oregon.
8 (3.20mb | PDF) - Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina,
Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Puerto Rico.
9 (3.07mb | PDF) - Maine, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia,
Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts,
Vermont, New Hampshire and New Jersey.
10 (3.71mb | PDF) - Alaska.