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Changing perceptions of watershed management from a retrospective viewpoint

Posted date: October 04, 2012
Publication Year: 
2000
Publication Series: 
Proceedings (P)
Source: In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Baker Jr., Malchus B.; Edminster, Carleton B.; Dillon, Madelyn C.; Mora, Karen L., tech. coords. Land Stewardship in the 21st Century: The Contributions of Watershed Management; 2000 March 13-16; Tucson, AZ. Proc. RMRS-P-13. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 167-176.
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

Watershed management, an ancient concept, was defined in Vedic texts from India that date from 1,000 B.C. This concept has been an integral part of forest and rangeland management in North America throughout the 20th century, but its scope has broadened significantly. Although the Forest Reserve Act of 1891 created the reserves that were to become the core of the National Forest System, it was the Pettigrew Amendment to the 1897 Sundry Civil Appropriations Bill that defined the purpose of the forest reserves. The amendment stated that the reserves could be established only to “...improve and protect the forest within the reservation, or for the purpose of securing favorable conditions of water flows....” Clearly, the interpretation of watershed management within the context of forestry in 1897 was for water supply and flood prevention. By mid-century, forest and watershed management had broadened to encompass recreation, range, wildlife, and fish purposes (Multiple Use Act of 1960). In the latter quarter of the 20th century, legislation, like the National Forest Management Act, National Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and concepts like ecosystem management have further broadened the goals and importance of watershed management beyond that of water supply production and flood prevention.

Citation

Neary, Daniel G. 2000. Changing perceptions of watershed management from a retrospective viewpoint. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Baker Jr., Malchus B.; Edminster, Carleton B.; Dillon, Madelyn C.; Mora, Karen L., tech. coords. Land Stewardship in the 21st Century: The Contributions of Watershed Management; 2000 March 13-16; Tucson, AZ. Proc. RMRS-P-13. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 167-176.