Watershed Stewardship

Caring for national forest watersheds is critical for everyone. The Rocky Mountain Region has identified three emphasis areas for managing your public lands and resources – water is one of them. Click here for a short description of the three emphasis areas, and click here for a description of the water emphasis area.

Your Watersheds:
What is a watershed, and what role do forests play in the water cycle?

Water Towers of the West:
How important are national forest headwaters to the water supply of the Inland West?

Water In The Forest:
What makes water resources on national forests and grasslands so special, and what values do they provide?

Watersheds Under Stress:
How are a warming climate, more severe forest fires, and population growth straining and squeezing our water supply?

Shaping Our Water Future:
What can we all do in the arid West to help secure reliable supplies of clean water for the future?

Restoring Forest Headwaters:
When we turn on our faucets, we tap into our forests – so what can we do to keep our forest headwaters functioning as nature's sponge?

Water Partners & Volunteers:
Who has joined the effort to help renew and sustain our forest headwaters – and how can you get involved?

Water News & Research:
What is being studied, learned, and shared about climate change, water supply, and forest headwaters?

Forest Service Publications on Water.

Our Stewardship Legacy:
How did concerns about watershed function and clean water supply affect the creation of the national forests a century ago?

Did you know?

  • The 17 national forests and 7 national grasslands in the Rocky Mountain Region total over 22.1 million acres in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, & Wyoming.

  • These lands are home to 45,700 miles of perennial (year–round) streams and 143 square miles of lakes and reservoirs.