WASHINGTON — Experts acknowledge the important role of forest lands in protecting our nation's water quality. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that about two-thirds of our nation's freshwater resources originate in forests, according to a press release.  

Water utilities are increasingly taking responsibility for the health of local watersheds as the best way to ensure a long-term supply of clean water for the community.

A new project managed by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) and supported by a grant from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) will engage forest landowners and water utilities to support innovative ways to promote watershed protection and maintenance on privately owned forest lands, stated the release.

"The most cost-effective way for a community to ensure clean water is to maintain their watershed in a healthy, forested area," said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI. "We're excited to support new tools that encourage forest owners and water utilities to work together to conserve watersheds. This project will provide us with a greater understanding of what is needed to advance watershed protection and management."

Read the entire press release here.