Numeric nutrient standards and forest watersheds

The Seventh National Monitoring Conference was held April 25-29, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The conference attracted a record 900 participants and was hosted by the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC), which “provides a forum for coordination of comparable and scientifically defensible methods and strategies to improve water quality monitoring, assessment and reporting, and promotes partnerships to foster collaboration, advance the science, and improve management within all elements of the water quality monitoring community.” Many of the presentations from the conference will be posted on the NWQMC website (

As part of the conference, the U.S. Forest Service and NCASI organized a special session to consider nutrient concentrations in waters draining forested watersheds. For the last two years, NCASI and the Forest Service have been working collaboratively to synthesize data on nutrient concentrations from Forest Service Experimental Forest and Range watersheds. This effort has taken on some urgency as states struggle to develop reasonable numeric nutrient criteria. The special session featured four papers covering both this data synthesis work and experience from individual states.

Nutrient Criteria and Standards for Forested Headwater Streams: An Overview of Issues and Solutions

George Ice, NCASI 

Characterizing Variability of Stream Chemistry at U.S. Forest Service Experimental Forests - Applicability to Development of Numeric Nutrient Criteria for Headwater Forests

Charles Rhoades, U.S. Forest Service  

Comparing Reference Stream Nutrient Concentrations to Harm-to-Beneficial-Use Concentrations Derived from Regional Nutrient Dose-Response Studies: Implications for Setting Nutrient Criteria

Michael Suplee, Montana Department of Environmental Quality 

Developing Numeric Nutrient Criteria in Florida

Jeffery Vowell, Florida Division of Forestry 

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