PRIVATE FOREST LANDS ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE HEALTH OF OUR WATERSHEDS
A watershed describes an area of land that contains a common set of streams and rivers that all drain into a larger body of water.
The key word with watersheds is “Connection”. The water within a watershed is always moving. Groundwater and surface water are connected.
Your land is connected to neighboring properties. Together they may be connected to a stream which leads to a lake or larger river. Streams and rivers form extensive drainage networks. What you do on your land has the potential to affect many other places. Protecting one means protecting all.
White arrows on the map show the flow of water
throughout a watershed.
LAND DISTURBANCE AFFECTS WATER QUALITY
Forested Lands Retain Water
Forests and well vegetated lands serve as a giant natural sponge, filtering and retaining storm water. The deep root system and vegetative base retains soil, soaks up water and filters contaminants. Woodlands protect both groundwater and surface water. Native cover allows proper infiltration of stormwater into underground aquifers.
Developed / Disturbed Land Sheds Water
When woodlands are converted to other uses, rain and snowmelt runoff increases. Increased runoff carries more sediment and contaminants like chemicals and excess nutrients to surface water. Infiltration and groundwater recharge is reduced. Increased flows can destabilize streams and decrease water quality.