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U.S. Forest Service

Watershed Restoration Program Glossary

Essential Projects - Essential projects are a discreet group of conservation actions and treatments that are implemented as an integrated suite of on-the-ground management activities focused primarily on restoring watershed health and thereby improving watershed condition class.

Passive Restoration - Allowing natural processes to return to a watershed by stopping activities that cause degradation or prevent recovery.

Watershed - The area of land that contributes water to a particular stream, river or body of water. Watersheds can be large or small. Every stream, tributary, or river has an associated watershed, and small watersheds join to become larger watersheds. A watershed is also referred to as drainage area or catchment basin.

Watershed Condition - The state of the physical and biological characteristics and processes within a watershed that affect the soil and hydrological functions that support aquatic ecosystems.

Watershed Condition Classification (WCF) - The process of describing watershed condition in terms of discrete categories (or classes) that reflect the level of watershed health or integrity.

Watershed Restoration Action Plan (WRAP) - An action plan that identifies specific projects necessary to improve the watershed condition class of the priority watershed.