As winter gives way to a greener and wetter spring, April is a great month to reflect on Strategic Objective D: “Provide abundant clean water” as part of the overall goal to provide benefits to the public. More than half of America’s freshwater flows from public and private forest land, and about 60 million Americans rely on drinking water that originates on the national forests and grasslands. Protecting water resources by sustaining healthy, resilient forests and grasslands provides for a robust and sustainable recreation economy which contributes billions to the U.S. economy every year—ensuring space for outdoor recreation as well as fish and wildlife habitat. Sustaining these ecosystems is also an efficient and cost-effective means of protecting water infrastructure when compared to investment in artificial means of flood control, water purification and other infrastructure.
Did You Know?
- Healthy forests provide a host of benefits, such as purifying water, sustaining water levels and flow, and habitat for fish and wildlife.
- About 60 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated on the national forests and grasslands.
- The Forest Service meets population demands by improving, maintaining and conserving the health of the ecosystems we manage.
- Improving and protecting watershed health requires an “All Lands” approach, which integrates ecosystem function and leverages partnerships across all land ownership.