The amount of water stored in the Salt River Project reservoirs during the middle 1950s was low and, as a consequence, apprehension arose among some residents of the Salt River Valley that a serious water shortage would soon occur. Groundwater supplies in the Valley were also being rapidly depleted, and pumping costs were steadily rising. Long-term studies at Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest had shown some potential for increasing runoff by converting chaparral shrublands to grass (Gottfried et al., Chapter 2 of this publication). Therefore, a belief existed that the yield of water from the Salt and Verde Watersheds could be increased by drastic, but fairly simple, conversions of the various vegetation types. Suggestions for water yield improvement included widespread burning of chaparral, eradication of pinyonjuniper woodlands by burning and mechanical methods, and prescribed burning in ponderosa pine forests.