Respectively, Research Geographer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Western Ecology Division, 200 SW 35th St., Corvallis, Oregon 97333; and Leader, Ecosystem Management Analysis Center, USDA Forest Service, 3825 East Mulberry St., Fort Collins, Colorado 80524.
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN WATERSHEDS AND ECOREGIONS1
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 33, Issue 5, pages 935–949, October 1997
How to Cite
Omernik, J. M. and Bailey, R. G. (1997), DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN WATERSHEDS AND ECOREGIONS. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 33: 935–949. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1997.tb04115.x
Paper No. 96178 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (formerly Water Resources Bulletin). Discussions are open until June 1, 1998.
- Issue published online: 8 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
- hydrologic units;
- ecosystem management
ABSTRACT: In an effort to adopt more holistic ecosystem approaches to resource assessment and management, many state and federal agencies have begun using watershed or ecoregion frameworks. Although few would question the need to make this move from dealing with problems and issues on a case by case or point-type basis to broader regional contexts, misunderstanding of each of the frameworks has resulted in inconsistency in their use and ultimate effectiveness. The focus of this paper is on the clarification of both frameworks. We stress that the issue is not whether to use watersheds (or basins or hydrologic units) or ecoregions for needs such as developing ecosystem management and non-point source pollution strategies or structuring water quality regulatory programs, but how to correctly use the frameworks together. Definitions, uses, and misuses of each of the frameworks are discussed as well as ways watersheds and ecoregions can be and have been used together effectively to meet resource management needs.