use of forests and forestry practices to protect, restore,
and sustain water quality, water flows, and watershed health
A watershed is an area of land that catches
rainfall and other precipitation and funnels it into a marsh,
stream, river, lake or groundwater. There is a direct link
between what we do on the land and the health of our watersheds
and the quality of the water in our waterways. Those watersheds
that are forested offer a wide array of benefits. Healthy
urban and rural forested watersheds absorb rainfall and snow
melt, slow storm runoff, recharge aquifers, sustain stream
flows, filter pollutants from the air and runoff before they
enter the waterways; and provide critical habitat for fish
and wildlife. In addition, forested watersheds provide abundant
recreational opportunities, help support local economies,
provide an inexpensive source of drinking water, and improve
the quality of our lives.
Through the use of forests and forestry practices
applied on a watershed basis, we can provide cumulative water
quality benefits and offer low cost, long term solutions to
many of the nation’s nonpoint source pollution problems.
The USDA Forest Service Cooperative Forestry staff provides
assistance to communities and landowners through a variety
of programs to promote sustainable forestry.
THE ENVIRONMENT: For an overview of the environmental
benefits provided by trees and forests.
FORESTS & QUALITY
OF LIFE: For an overview of less obvious benefits of forests
WATERSHED RESTORATION PARTNERSHIPS: For information on
prototype projects to work collectively across ownership boundaries
to restore watersheds.
TOURS: To take interactive tours of five of the community-based
AREA: For information on watershed partnerships, initiatives,
grants, workshops and other programs offered by the Forest
Service Northeastern Area.
WATERSHED FORESTRY ASSISTANCE
PROGRAM: For information on the watershed forestry program
authorized in the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003
WATERS: To view a series of six Forest Service publications,
each issue highlighting the important role of forestry in
a different water resource management topic.
For national and regional program manager information and
links to regional Cooperative Forestry web pages.
USEFUL LINKS: For
a list of other water and forestry web pages.