Watershed Research Cooperative

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The mission of the Watersheds Research Cooperative (WRC) is to conduct research on the effects of current and expected forest practices on intensively managed commercial forestland on water quality, fisheries and other water-related values.

Oregon State University Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management Department provides primary leadership.


The majority of the timber harvest in the Pacific Northwest comes from the minority of the forested land base owned by the private industrial forest sector. Society is more dependent than ever on the productivity and culture of these forestlands for a continued supply of solid wood. One potential obstacle is concern regarding the environmental effects of intensive management of these lands. The concern results from a lack of knowledge regarding the actual environmental effects caused by contemporary forest management activities at a watershed scale. Three paired watershed studies of unprecedented scope, along with smaller, related studies, have been established to help guide future stream protection practices in the Pacific Northwest.