Resource Management

Welcome to R6 Watershed Management

Annual Streamflow from Forest Service Lands


What is a watershed?
 A watershed is the area of a landscape where water from rain or melting snow and ice is captured, stored, and released into a body of water such as a river, lake, reservoir, pond, estuary, wetland, aquifer, sea, or ocean. Watersheds include the streams, lakes, and shallow aquifers that store and convey the water as well as the land surfaces through which water drains and the aquatic ecosystems that they support. Topography and geology determine where the water flows, and thus are used to separate adjacent drainage basins into a hierarchical structure in which small watersheds drain into progressively larger ones.
Forested and mountainous locations, such as National Forests, tend to recieve more precipitation than adjacent non-forested or lower-lying areas. Precise contributions of national forest lands to regional stream volumes is largely unknown, however, new research is showing the relative importance of forests to water quanity and quality. The relative amounts of streamflow in different rivers that originates on the NAtional forests across the Pacific Northwest Region are shown in the map above.











Watershed Management

Watershed Best Management Program

Watershed Condition Framework
The Watershed Condition Framework establishes a new consistent, comparable, and credible process for improving the health of watersheds on national forests and grasslands.

Water Quality
Drinking Water: Forest to Faucet

Water Uses & Water Rights
Water Uses affect watershed condition and Water Rights are the primary method used to legally be able to use water for human and social needs. How and where water is used both on and off a National Forest impacts watershed condition and aquatic resources in positive and not positive ways. Managing the many uses of water is a primary responsibility of the FS as defined by Congress in the 1897 Organic Administration Act, stating that the forests reserves (now NFS Lands) were established “to secure favorable conditions of water flows”

Groundwater Hydrology
The management of the National Forest System’s substantial groundwater ensures proper use of and continued benefits from this important resource.

Soil Management

Coordination and Partnerships

Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)
The Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) program addresses situations with the goal of protecting life, property, water quality, and deteriorated ecosystems from further damage after the fire is out.