Northwest Arkansas Forest Management

Forest’s Role in Maintaining Water Quality – Daniel Hagood

 With forested land making up over 70% of the Beaver Lake Watershed, forest management is a crucial aspect of maintaining a high-quality drinking water supply and the integrity of the Beaver Watershed. Water quality is directly related to forest health. Historically, the Ozarks were home to open woodlands with a diverse herbaceous understory that promoted ground water recharge and allowed sediment to be trapped and reduced as water flowed over the landscape. As humans have altered these natural environments, many woodlands have converted to overgrown forests that lack diversity and have little to no understory vegetation. In order to promote improved water quality, as well as plant diversity and wildlife habitat, we at the Alliance have been involved with landowners and multiple partners to implement 27 forest land management practices and 42 site assessment plans in 2021.

These practices included brush management, forest stand improvement, and assistance with prescribed burns. The use of prescribed burning is one of the cheapest and most natural ways to achieve many forest goals and we have noted a growing interested in the use of fire to promote a healthier landscape.

If you are interested in learning more about forest management and what you could do to have a healthier forest, please call us at 479-750-8007, or email Daniel at daniel@beaverwatershedalliance.org

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