Monitoring involves keeping track of a species or a resource. Foresters and other scientists observe and record conditions over time to determine if there has been a change. Monitoring programs are initiated by assessing the existing or “baseline" condition of that resource, for instance determining the distribution of red-legged frogs on our forestlands, or measuring the amount of sediment in a stream during the winter. By periodically comparing observed conditions to the baseline assessment, trends can be detected. This information is used to validate current management practices and to identify opportunities in the future.