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Hydrology, watersheds, sedimentation


The bull trout has a historical range that encompasses many waters across the Northwest. Though once abundant, bull trout have declined in many locations and is now federally listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act. Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists initiated the range-wide bull trout eDNA project in partnership with biologists from more than 20 organizations to create sound and precise information about the distribution of bull trout in thousands of streams across their range.
Forested and mountainous locations, such as national forests, tend to receive more precipitation than adjacent non-forested or low-lying areas. However the precise contributions of national forest lands to regional streamflow volumes is largely unknown. New modeling work illustrates the importance of water yield from National Forest System land to water quantity and quality through visual and textual presentations of each forest’s contributions to regional streamflow.
The Cascabel watershed study was initiated in 1999 by Rocky Mountain Research Station Scientists as part of the Southwestern Borderlands Ecosystem Management Project. The study is a collaborative, interdisciplinary project to determine the effects of cool season and warm season prescribed burning on an oak-savanna ecosystem common to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
In 2007, the Institute for Pacific Islands Forestry asked the Rocky Mountain Research Station's Southwest Watershed Science Team to help establish baseline data for a long-term research on the newly established Hawai'ian Experimental Tropical Forest. A key question of the Southwest Watershed Science Team was whether LiDAR data could be used in establishing a stream gauging network and determining other channel characteristics.
In the mid-2000's researchers reinstated research at Beaver Creek Experimental Watershed (BCEW) to collect data on climate, stream flow, vegetation, forest floor, and soil conditions. The Southwest Watershed Science Team and Northern Arizona University are exploring the effects of fuel treatments on stream flow, vegetation, forest floor, and soil conditions at the BCEW. The main goal of ongoing research is to provide land managers with information about the ecological effects of fuel treatments in the ponderosa pine forests and pinyon-juniper woodlands at a watershed scale.
The Beaver Creek Experimental Watershed outside of Flagstaff, Arizona is home to over 20 years of hydrologic, climatic, vegetation, fuels, soils, and wildlife data. This data is informing research initiated in the mid-2000's by the Southwest Watershed Science Team and Northern Arizona University to explore the effects of fuel treatments on stream flow, vegetation, forest floor, and soil conditions.
The National Stream Internet (NSI) is a network of people, data, and analytical techniques that interact synergistically to create information about streams. The NSI is needed because accurate, high-resolution status and trend information does not exist for most biological and water quality attributes across the 5.5 million stream kilometers in the United States.
This research aims to summarize the state of knowledge regarding the effects of forest management on water quality and the value to society of maintaining high quality runoff from forest lands. Economic costs and benefits of water-quality control was also explored.
This project seeks to estimate the volumes of water that annually become available on forests (and other land covers) in the U.S. Available water volume (water supply) is being estimated, at the regional scale, as precipitation minus evapotranspiration (ET).
The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 requires the Forest Service to periodically assess anticipated resource supply and demand conditions of the nation's renewable resources. This project focuses on fresh water demand.