Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Research to Support Sustainable Watershed Management

Author
item Slaughter, Charles

Submitted to: Riparian and Watershed Management in the Interior Northwest
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 12, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Research into physical and biological processes to support sustainable resource management is facilitated by dedicated research watersheds representative of the larger ecoregion and are available for long-term measurement and analysis. Two watershed research programs receiving similar total annual precipitation, each dominated by seasonal snowfall but with very different soils, climate, vegetation, land use, and hydrologic and sediment yield regimes, are described. Reynolds Creek Experimental watershed was established in the Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho in 1960 to study watershed hydrology in semiarid uplands of the interior Pacific Northwest. The Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed was established in 1969 for hydrologic and ecosystem research in the discontinuous-permafrost Yukon-Tanana Uplands of central Alaska. These research watersheds, a landscape-scale context for plot studies; an interdisciplinary base of research and monitoring over years to decades; long-term annotated, reviewed data bases for hydrologic, stream quality, and climatic parameters; careful site documentation including geology, soils, vegetation, and land use history; complementary biological and physical process research; and opportunities for collaborative long- term research and monitoring in support of sustainable resource management at watershed and regional scales.

Technical Abstract: Research into physical and biological processes to support sustainable resource management is facilitated by dedicated landscape units such as experimental forests and research watersheds, representative of the larger ecoregion and are available for long-term measurement and analysis. Established watershed research programs in upland landscapes receiving similar total annual precipitation, each dominated by seasonal snowfall, but with very different soils, climate, vegetation, land use, and hydrologic and sediment yield regimes, provide examples. The Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed was established in the Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho in 1960 to study watershed hydrology in semiarid uplands of the interior Pacific Northwest. The Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed was established in 1969 for hydrologic and ecosystem research in the discontinuous-permafrost Yukon-Tanana Uplands of central Alaska. Research at both sites has addressed basic climatic and hydrologic prosesses, plant community structure, biodiversity, and commodity production.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page