The Watersheds Research Cooperative boosts a series of long-term paired watershed studies throughout Oregon that will evaluate the environmental effects on water and fish of contemporary forest management practices now in use on younger intensively managed forests.
These studies are designed to provide credible scientific information, as well as opportunities to convey science findings through demonstration and public education opportunities.
The mission of the Watersheds Research Cooperative (WRC) is to conduct research on the effects of current and expected forest practices on intensively managed commercial forestland on water quality, fisheries and other water-related values.
Watershed Research Cooperative Initiative Summary
The Oregon State University colleges of Forestry and Agricultural Sciences, federal and state agencies, and private sector scientists and managers are collaborating in the Cooperative to provide scientific and managerial leadership in support of the evolving need to calibrate forest practices with societal goals for water and fisheries.
The overarching goal of the Cooperative is to collect, disseminate and apply information regarding the effects of contemporary intensive forest management practices on water quality, fisheries, and aquatic habitat. The knowledge and technology developed by the Cooperative will influence the Forest Practices Act policy process to ensure adequate protection of water and fish. It will also help to prevent burden of ineffectual forest practice rules that would arbitrarily restrict harvest and management practices in headwater streams and areas adjacent to fish-bearing streams. The economic cost of arbitrary rules to private, industrial forestland owners could be quite high, potentially approaching the opportunity costs of the excessive and untested restrictions currently in place on federal forestlands.
WRC is a Pacific Northwest regional cooperative with an operational area including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, northern California and British Columbia. Thus, another goal of the cooperative is to foster communication among researchers involved in this type of research and function as a clearinghouse for information on the researchers and research that is being done on this subject throughout the Pacific Northwest.