Since 1977, NCASI member companies have recognized that water issues are crucial to future fiber supplies. Water quality and supply are routinely ranked by the public as top environmental concerns related to forest management. One objective of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is to "protect the water quality in streams, lakes and other waterbodies."
The mission of the Forest Watershed Program is to develop, document, and communicate scientific information regarding the effects of forest practices and natural processes on aquatic resources. This includes developing or documenting solutions to undesirable watershed effects of forest practices.
Goals for the Forest Watershed Program are set by the Forest Watershed Task Group (FWTG). FWTG is comprised of forest industry watershed specialists and fisheries biologists. Oversight of FWTG comes from the Forest Environmental and Sustainability Task Group (FESTG) and the NCASI Operating Committee. The current program addresses the three key management activities: roads, management near streams, and landscape management activities.