What is stewardship?
To be a steward is to be charged with the care and management of something: a store, a piece of land, a house, etc... Stewardship, therefore is the process of the care and management of a natural resource (in this context). Watershed stewardship involves studying, knowing, and managing the area included in the watershed.
Why is it important?
Proper stewardship is very important. Stewardship does not mean forbidding economic development or any changes that the populous wants to make. Stewardship involves understanding and respecting the integration and interconnectedness of the watershed. Land use explains the various effects of land use practices.
Once a management plan has been devised, it is possible to develop new economic opportunities within the watershed without adverse effects on the environment. Trees can still be harvested for lumber, but the method of harvesting may change to protect the watershed.
Effective stewardship also benefits future generations.
Respecting the balance of the watershed reduces the likelihood of reclamation
efforts being required later. In the long run, proper stewardship is
extremely cost effective. Though it may invovle extra cost now in changing
planned activities to reduce impact on the watershed. There is a definite
economic and environmental savings in the preservation of the natural watershed.
Watershed reclamation is possible, this web site is devoted to AMD reclamation,
however it is much easier to not have to rehabilitate your environment.