First thing you need to know is when and where the logging activity will occur. Then follow the steps below – remembering the more documentation you collect (notes or voice recordings of actions and observations, pictures and videos…) the better.
- Pick a location downstream from the logging activity to take your water sample. Make sure you are on your own property, public property, or that you have permission from the landowner to be at that location. Mark the location with a GPS device (or app).
- Take a baseline sample, or several. Before logging activity begins, visit the sampling location and fill a clear, quart-sized mason jar with water, and label the jar with the date and location. It is best if you take footage that shows the water being collected, the jar being labeled, and an image of the GPS location all in one video. If you can, take several baseline samples – and ideally at least one after a drier spell of weather and one after a significant rain (0.5 inches or more).
- Return post-logging operations and take more samples in clear, quart-sized mason jars, documenting as described before. Ideally you’ll take at least one post-logging after a drier spell of weather and one after a significant rain (0.5 inches or more). You can take more if you like, including during the operation; the more samples you have, the more information you can glean.
- Take pictures of your jars of water in front of a white blank background to document any differences (shake the jars before taking pictures to suspend sediment if there is any). Save these pictures and any other photos, videos, notes, documentation about weather events etc in one location.
We recommend getting in touch with your local watershed council and the appropriate DEQ staff person for you area to discuss and interpret any results. We also recommend getting in touch with your stewardship forester to share results.