Water In Your Woods

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In every woodland, water moves within a complex system that in many ways defines forest characteristics. The system begins when water falls as rain or snow and it encounters leaf, branch and flower and the varying soils they sprout from. Soil absorbs water and gives to roots but when it becomes saturated, water begins to flow on the surface of the forest floor. It heads downhill and encounters topography that channels it into rivulets, then streams, wetlands, ponds, pools and rivers. This system of water flowing over land, called a watershed, helps determine what trees and other plants will grow, and what food, shelter and other resources are available for wildlife.

The integrity of the natural system of water flow in your woods will determine the quality, quantity and location of water, and therefore will guide the overall health of your ecosystem. Keeping a keen eye on how your activities impact water resources in your woods is an essential component of successful woodland care and management.

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