You are here: Home / Research Topics / Water, Air & Soil / Watershed Management Tools

Watershed Management Tools

Air Quality Sampler
Air quality sampler developed by Forest Service scientists

Watershed Management Tools help natural resource managers, planners, and landowners make better decisions about how to manage forest and rangeland watersheds, and educate everyone, especially children, about new ways to protect, improve, and sustain watersheds.

Partnerships are the most effective way to develop and deliver knowledge and tools needed to manage forests and rangelands across the variety of landscapes—rural to urban, mountain to coast. Researchers, resource managers, and citizens working together is most effective for developing and applying new management techniques that lead to continuous improvement of watersheds.

Educational programs carry the knowledge beyond the communities of experts and specialists to citizens. That knowledge enables them to make informed decisions about environmental issues—locally, regionally, nationally, and globally—that are necessary to meet while managing watersheds sustainably. Using federal lands as living laboratories bring the student, citizen, landowner, and land manager to the outdoors and helps everyone to better understand the linkages and relationships between water coming from the forest to their faucet.

Research Activities

Smoke Dispersion Forecast
Smoke Dispersion Forecast (WFDSS)

Research activities in this area include:

  • developing tools and technologies necessary to manage the water, air, and soil resources in lands undergoing transition in land uses and in wilderness areas, for example: Stream Systems Technology Center;
  • delivering tools and technologies that support decision making, including predictions about the outcomes of management activities, for example: Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS);
  • using feedback from partners and users of the tools and technologies to help make tools and technologies more relevant, for example: i-Tree; and
  • partnering with educational specialists and organizations to develop and provide educational materials for all educational levels, for example: Natural Inquirer, a middle school science journal.