Water Quality

ATFS Standard 4, Indicator 4.1.2
Landowner shall minimize road construction and other soil disturbances within riparian zones and wetlands.


Healthy Forests for Clean Water (N.C. Forest Service)
Forests keep water clean and abundant by capturing rainwater and recharging underground aquifers. They also act as a natural filter as water moves over land, cleaning it of pollutants so it arrives at our lakes, rivers and streams in a better condition.

Decoding the Language of Water Quality (N.C. Forest Service)
As with many sciences, there are a lot of alphabetic abbreviations in the world of forestry and water quality. This publication decodes the alphabetic mix and helps you understand the impact of various water quality programs on forest management.

Managing Forests for Water (N.C. Forest Service)
The availability of water for both human use and ecological function is rapidly becoming a motivating factor in geopolitical decisions and land-use policies.

Maintain Roads to Prevent Erosion and Protect Water (Penn State Extension)
Poorly constructed and maintained access roads often cause severe soil erosion and sedimentation into streams. As a woodland owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your roads are properly constructed and maintained.

Working Trees for Water Quality (National Agroforestry Center)
Working Trees can help alleviate water quality and quantity problems. From upland areas down to the water’s edge, trees reduce and slow runoff and trap pollutants in both rural and urban settings.

The Science Behind Riparian Forest Buffers

An Overview (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
The riparian area is that area of land located immediately adjacent to streams, lakes, or other surface waters. The boundary of the riparian area and the adjoining uplands is gradual and not always well defined.

Effects on Water Quality (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
Sediment refers to soil particles that enter streams, lakes and other bodies of water from eroding land, including plowed fields, construction and logging sites, urban areas and eroding stream banks. Sedimentation of streams can have a pronounced effect on water quality and stream life.

Effects on Plant and Animal Communities (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
Riparian areas support some of the most diverse and productive of all plant communities. This is primarily a result of the rich soils and abundant moisture.

Factors Influencing Adoption (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
This publication examines some of the issues surrounding the adoption of riparian forest buffers on private lands and highlight policies that may be used to implement them

Planning Establishment and Maintenance (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
Deciding what a buffer is intended to accomplish will impact what types of vegetation that should be restored and how the site should be prepared before planting.

How Your Activities Can Impact Water Quality (American Forest Foundation)
Any activity in your woodland that alters vegetation or impacts soil will have some effect on water flow and possibly water quality.