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Forest Practices Effectiveness Monitoring

Courtesy of the U.S. Forest ServiceEffectiveness monitoring studies the impact of forest practices (e.g., stream buffering, timber felling, road building, etc.) on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems to evaluate current status and future trends relative to land-management objectives. It is one tier of a feedback-loop style monitoring system at several spatial scales which routes results back to policy for land-management rule evaluation. A main objective is to inform the Forest Practices Adaptive Management Program at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, which was established to meet the goals of the 1999 Forest and Fish report.

In Washington state, the Department of Ecology jointly participates in effectiveness monitoring studies to monitor water quality before, during, and after forest management actions, as well as establish base-line conditions. These studies are often multi-year and range in scale from a set of adjacent headwaters basins (i.e., a few acres) to statewide forest lands (i.e., millions of acres). Study systems vary, but the current experimental studies focus on small headwaters streams on lands managed for industrial forestry. These studies thus differ from many others at the agency which focus on lakes, rivers, and marine waters. Much of our work is scoped, designed, managed, and funded by Washington’s Cooperative Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research (CMER) committee.

This website is the gateway to effectiveness monitoring projects in which the Department of Ecology participates.  It provides history, oversight and regulations, project overviews, project staff directories, links to project collaborators, and access to data sets and publications as they become available.


Monitoring Design of the Forestry Module of the Governor's Salmon Recovery Plan 2002