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Articles on Watersheds

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Community members from Blueberry River First Nations collect STREAM samples in Fort St. John, B.C. (Raegan Mallinson/Living Lakes Canada)

Healthy rivers: Communities use DNA tool to keep tabs on freshwater quality

In Canada, watersheds are vast and often inaccessible, making it difficult to monitor the health of these ecosystems. A new tool helps communities collect data to assess the state of Canada's rivers.
A mixed-conifer forest in the central Sierra Nevada after restoration, with unthinned forest in the background. Roger Bales

Restoring California’s forests to reduce wildfire risks will take time, billions of dollars and a broad commitment

Restoring western forests – thinning out small trees and dead wood – is an important strategy for reducing the risk of massive wildfires. But these projects aren't fast, easy or cheap.
The Rim Fire burned 256,000 acres of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park in 2013. (USDA Forest Service, Chris Stewart)

Buried in mud: Wildfires threaten North American water supplies

Wildfires reduce the reliability of city water supplies in North America. But active forest management provides a key to the solution.
Konik ponies graze in Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire. The UK National Trust used TESSA to calculate that each hectare of the fen was worth US$200 more per year as wetland than as farmland. Gailhampshire/Flickr

TESSA: a practical tool to measure the impact of protecting biodiversity

The Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) allows NGOs to quantify the economic advantages of maintaining ecosystems, helping preserve biodiversity by putting a value on it.
Black water cascaded down Cameron Falls in Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta after a 2018 wildfire denuded the landscape. (Kaleigh Watson)

Soot-filled rivers mark the need for a national wildfire strategy

Much of the country depends on water stored and filtered in forests. Fire-scarred watersheds highlight our need for a national wildfire strategy.

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