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Program Assessment


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Forest Service: Watershed

The purpose of the Forest Service watershed program is to restore, enhance, and maintain watershed conditions including soil, water, air, and forest and rangeland vegetation within the national forests and grasslands. Management of these physical and biological resources provides a foundation for healthy, viable ecosystems.


What This Rating Means

Results Not Demonstrated

A rating of Results Not Demonstrated (RND) indicates that a program has not been able to develop acceptable performance goals or collect data to determine whether it is performing.
  • The Watershed Program lacks long-term outcome-based and efficiency measures for the performance of land management activities on national forest and non-federal watersheds or of demonstrated water quality improvement over time. However, the Forest Service is making notable progress in the development of such measures.
  • Although annual performance accomplishments are collected for annual reports, the Forest Service lacks statistically valid water quality data, both nationally and locally, that reflects the effects of resource management activities. This severely hinders the ability of the Forest Service to make informed decisions regarding program priorities, resource allocations, and general program management.
  • The Forest Service lacks a nationally consistent approach to prioritize watersheds and for management activities on national forests and for providing grants to non-Federal entities. The Forest Service is working to address this.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Developing long-term outcome-based and efficiency measures and working to ensure cooperators link their proposed activities to the agency's Strategic Plan or annual performance measures.
  • Generating better water quality, habitat, and biological data useful to monitor and describe the condition and trend of aquatic resources for national and local application.
  • Developing and implementing a strategy to prioritize watersheds for management activities as the basis for program allocations.

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