Forest Watershed Sciences

When the National Forest System was established in 1905, one of its first mandates was to restore the watershed function of forests. Today an estimated 80 percent of U.S. freshwater resources originate in forests, with much of the nation's drinking water coming from the estimated 192 million acres of our national forests, which actually make up only 30 percent of U.S. forested land.

Mooney Falls-Franklin,NCForest Watershed Science is comprised of four research teams to provide information, methods, and guidelines to implement and evaluate ecosystem management concepts, practices, and effects on water, soil and forest resources.

Weir and stream gaging instrumentsThe Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory is the only Forest Service outdoor site to carry the "Laboratory" title. The Laboratory's commitment to sharing its research with scientists worldwide has been recognized by its inclusion in the International Biological Program, the International Hydrologic Decade, and UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere project.

Blue Heron in flight over wetlandsThe Center for Forested Wetlands Research manages the structure, function and productivity of wetland-dominated forested landscapes. The foundation of the Center’s program is predicted on understanding the hydrologic, chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes and reactions that govern the composition of wetland ecology.

Brook trout-the Southeast's only native troutColdwater Streams and Trout Habitat is located in Blacksburg, Virginia. The team performs research in the areas of stream habitat and fish ecology, which provides land managers with guidelines on how to maintain, recover, or increase the quantity and quality of fish and other native fauna.