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Written by Karen Schumacher

Water is a major component of ecosystems and inextricably links together every organism. The ecosystem cannot survive without water. Ecosystem water sources include aquifers, wetlands, riparian, rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, puddles left from rain, and watersheds.

A watershed is defined as an entire region draining into a river, river system, or other body of water, or an area of land that includes a particular river or lake and all the rivers, streams, etc., that flow into it. It includes all sources of water. A synonym for watershed is basin, the numerous watersheds make up the basin. Idaho has 92 watersheds and your area can be searched here or here.

Ecosystems, by their very nature, are dependent on watersheds for survival. If the watershed, or basin, is impaired, the ecosystem, and every part of it dies.

There are some Bureau of Land Management (BLM) watershed programs in Idaho, the Upper Salmon Basin, Owyhee County, and the Hawley Creek watershed. These projects focused on protecting fish. The Forest Service (FS) also engages in watershed programs such as in Coeur d’ Alene. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gets into the watershed act at Tepee Creek and Bear Valley Creek. In a Watershed Restoration Partnership the USFS and BLM gave the Nez Perce Tribe 7.5 million dollars to protect and restore watersheds. Here is a 2011 FS map showing watershed conditions in Idaho and other Idaho watershed programs listed by the EPA.

Idahoans have come together creating groups on watershed issues such as the Henry’s Fork Watershed Council and North Fork Coeur d’ Alene River Watershed Advisory Group.

The USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan 2015-2020, Objective D focuses on restoring watersheds with a Watershed Condition Framework. This framework starts with classifying watershed conditions, prioritizing for restoration, developing a plan, implementing integrated projects, tracking those projects, then verifying accomplishment. Through their National Best Management Practices Program, the FS also has National Best Management Practices for Water Quality Management on National Forest System Lands booklet with extensive information on aquatic ecosystems starting on page 19 and another for riparian areas.

The EPA has a 400 page document for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters. Management practices include conserving, protecting, and restoring watersheds (pg 231); focus areas in agriculture, forests, and urban areas (pg 233-236, 241); more protective/restrictive practices than state regulations (pg 286); and of course monitoring all land use practices (pg 298).

Notice that most of these plans center around restoration and protection. There is a reason for that.

This FS document outlines its commitment to the UN and Agenda 21 by “Continuing large-scale watershed projects, involving mixed ownership jurisdictions and diverse partners, to achieve sustainable conservation and related development”.

In 2011 the EPA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to protect and conserve the environment, share common goals and objectives, cooperate with other nations to protect the environment globally, support environmental laws and regulatory instruments, with an ultimate goal for transitioning to a green economy. The EPA has a whole program devoted to watersheds as water is a high priority for UN control.

Department of Interior (DOI) agencies such as the USGS and USFWS work with the UN, and the DOI itself belongs to several UN organizations, including international. Commitment to the UN means implementing their objectives. And several UN organizations have objectives on watersheds.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) works with the DOI on an international basis with an international forum on watershed management, page 13.

The World Bank, which actively works with the UN, has been focused on water issues for some time, creating a Watershed Management, Approaches, Policies, and Operations report in 2008, financing watershed projects since the 1970s (ix).

Agenda 21, Chapter 18, is devoted to water. Objectives include assessment and data gathering on water sources, conservation, restoration, and water planning and management, not only through government polices, but internationally as well. Chapter 13 also promotes watershed development.

So it is easy to see how the federal government and the UN have been actively working on gathering the necessary data since Agenda 21 implementation in the United States. Enough data has been gathered to implement watershed plans and seize control over watersheds. If a watershed is restored it must be protected from further harm so keep people out, and if it does not need restoration it must be conserved and protected from harm, so keep people out. These plans are so successful that it has even Idahoans have been duped to engage in the deception.

Bottom line, watersheds are just the beginning of how our water is being pursued for control, serving the UN race to global governance.

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