Background information is helpful in determining where old mines are, what practices were used and who owns the land. Some early mining information may not be recorded, but most mining companies kept documents and maps of their activities. Since a good deal of information is often available from agencies, it's very important to contact them early in the process. The advice and guidance of agency staff are vital to the work of watershed partnerships, and the motivation and energy of the partnership contribute to the work of the agency. Many times, citizens are surprised to learn that their creek or river has been monitored extensively by an agency or university research team. The summarized results of that data can provide valuable information for newspaper, radio or television coverage of the problem. Be advised, however, that sometimes data are old. Take precautions to check the dates of any data or other information provided, since water quality conditions change overtime.
- Sources of Background Information
- County clerk offices
- State water quality agencies
- State geological surveys
- Local conservation districts
- Private consultants and industry
- Federal agencies
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Office of Surface Mining
- U.S. Geological Survey
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
Since a good deal of information is often available from agencies, it is very important to contact them early in the process.
Also be sure to examine the land use in your watershed. Water quality
is often dependent upon the uses for the water. If your watershed is a
public drinking water supply, special action may be needed. It may be
possible to encourage local business to take part in watershed rehabilitation if
their interests are affected. Identify any known pollution sources prior
to assessment, as well as known ecological needs.