Conservation and maintenance of soil and water resourcesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Forest ecosystem productivity and functioning depend on soil and water resources. But the reverse is also true—forest and land-use management activities can significantly alter forest soils, water quality, and associated aquatic habitats (Ice and Stednick 2004, Reid 1993, Wigmosta and Burges 2001). Soil and water resources are protected through the allocation of land for that purpose or through appropriate management regimes and best management practices (Blinn and Kilgore 2001, Young 2000). Because the biophysical linkage between soils and hydrological functions is strong, conservation land-use designations and best practices for forest management usually combine soil and water conservation objectives (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection 2014, Minnesota Forest Resources Council 2013). In the absence of widespread, long-term direct measures of water and soil condition, information on land use, management activity, and application of best practices can serve as useful indicators of efforts to conserve soil and water resources.