assessment of sustainability of our forests

Southern Forest Resource Assessment

led by the USDA Forest Service's Southern Region and Southern Research Station in collaboration with the USEPA, US Fish & Wildlife, TVA, and state forestry agencies of the Southern United States

V. Watersheds, Aquatic/Riparian Ecosystems, and Forested Wetlands

The Southern Forest Resource Assessment will address a set of questions regarding the sustainability of the South’s forests.  This page contains a list of questions that are now proposed to organize the analysis in the Watersheds, Aquatic/Riparian Ecosystems, and Forested Wetlands category. These questions address broad issues so to provide additional detail, we include specific points that will be addressed as each question is answered. At the end of the page are links to the other broad categories.

To the left of each question is a "what you said" link taking you to the public inputs submitted about the earlier version of that question.

 

Comments about the earlier version of this question

1. What are the history, status, and likely future of water quality in southern forested watersheds?

  • Evaluate the relative impact of different land uses on water quality.
  • Evaluate how both point and nonpoint sources of pollution have shaped water quality.
  • Discuss the influence of land use history on water quality.
  • Address how water quality impacts have and could differ among ecological regions.
  • Discuss known and likely effects of forest management practices on water quality.
Comments about the earlier version of this question

2. What are the history, status, and likely future of forested wetlands in the South?

  • Document the extent and effects of wetland restoration efforts.
  • Evaluate the impacts of incentive programs used to restore wetlands.
  • Evaluate the fate of wetlands that have been converted to other uses in the past.
  • Define which wetland types are especially at risk.
  • Measure the distribution as well as the extent of all wetland types.
  • Evaluate the quality of current forested wetlands and how quality might change.
  • Disclose the limitations and degree of accuracy of data sources.
  • Address the effects of exotic species on the structure and function of wetlands.
  • Evaluate the land ownership patterns of forested wetlands.
  • Describe past and potential shifts among forested wetland types, i.e. mixed pine/hardwood to pine or hardwood.
Comments about the earlier version of this question

3. How have forest management activities and other forest uses influenced water quality and aquatic habitat in forested watersheds?

  • Evaluate how these activities have and can influence peak flows.
  • Include a consideration of all relevant water quality parameters: biological, chemical and physical.
  • Examine effects of pesticides, sediment, and fertilizer.
  • Examine the influence of these activities on municipal water supplies.
  • Discuss how impacts may differ depending on the size and intensity of harvest and other treatments.
  • Evaluate how historical land uses and practices have influenced water quality and aquatic habitat.
  • Identify any differences in water quality impacts of hardwood versus pine management.
Comments about the earlier version of this question

4. What are the implementation rates and effectiveness of BMP’s in the South?

  • Document the implementation/compliance rates for BMP’s by state.
  • Evaluate factors influencing sediment production and effective measures for reducing sedimentation.
  • Define the full range of benefits deriving from BMP’s.
  • Document implementation rates for BMP’s by ownership class.
  • Address the effectiveness of regulatory and non-regulatory state programs for protecting water quality.
Comments about the earlier version of this question

5. What are the history, status, and likely future of aquatic habitats and species in the South?

  • Discuss impacts of forest management practices on mussels, fish, reptiles and amphibians.
  • Define "hot spots" (i.e., where species are imperiled) for aquatic species.
  • Define and evaluate aquatic species diversity.
  • Evaluate the effects of exotic species on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems.
  • Describe how land use and management history have influenced aquatic habitats and species.
  • Address the impacts of dredging, channelization, and dams on aquatic habitats.
  • Define the extent and distribution of aquatic threatened and endangered species.


Other Broad Categories:
I. Landscapes/Terrestrial Ecosystems
II. Social/Economic Factors
III. Timber Markets and Forest Management
IV. Forest Extent, Conditions, and Health
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modified: 19-APR-2000
webmaster: John M. Pye