Impaired Watersheds

(Last Revised December 2005)

Several watersheds within the MRC ownership have been listed as pollution impaired under the Clean Water Act Section 303(d). The main source of pollution is sediment from legacy forest harvest activities. A few watersheds are also temperature impaired from unnaturally high water temperatures. Approximate 70% of the MRC land is located in 303(d) listed watersheds. Each impaired watershed is having a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) developed by State Water Quality Control Board and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

MRC has focused its watershed analysis efforts, initially on the 303(d) listed watersheds. Hydrologists, fisheries biologists and geologists have been actively engaged in watershed analysis since the company was formed. Watershed analysis collects baseline stream and riparian conditions, analyzes results from a comprehensive road inventory to prioritize sediment control work, and establishes monitoring of long-term trends. The initial watershed analysis for all of MRC forestlands, including impaired watersheds, will be complete by the end of 2008.

This data provided by the watershed analysis allows MRC to get started on the sediment control or stream temperature improvement programs to improve the water quality of these impaired watersheds. Road restoration and reconstruction plans and management strategies for unstable areas are being developed to lower sediment inputs. Riparian management activities are also targeted to improve canopy over streams and reduce water temperatures. All watersheds, regardless of characterization, are treated with care as Mendocino Redwood Company conducts its on-the-ground management practices.