Science-based management of the 15,000 acres of public forestland around the reservoirs is guided by a comprehensive plan to support the collection of the highest quality drinking water. Since the creation of the reservoir system, Providence Water has actively worked the land to promote long-term forest productivity and ecosystem health.
An overarching goal is to maintain a forest that is resilient to natural disturbances (including hurricanes, fires, and insect and tree disease outbreaks) that could have a negative impact on water quality. Across the landscape, carefully planned timber harvests and other activities are used to create a mosaic of forest stands with a greater variety of tree species, sizes, and ages. It's a classic example of where diversification to avoid catastrophic loss makes good sense.
Other goals are to protect unique natural and historic features and to provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species. Sensitive sites and older forest stands are excluded from harvesting and left to develop through natural processes.