Aldo Leopold wrote about “thinking like a mountain.” This article on the most recent Earthtoys.com newsletter talks about â€œthinking like a watershed.â€ Why is thinking like a watershed important? Because everyone lives in a watershed, and watersheds are a handy environmental “unit” that we can use to measure environmental changes and the impacts of development. There are even citizens groups throughout the U.S. that monitor local watersheds, looking for changes and environment impacts. Here’s more from the article:
On a human scale, what happens within a watershed, whether natural or caused by humans, affects the water quality and health of that watershed, while not greatly impacting neighboring watersheds. Watersheds create a sort of forced community of living things. What our common watershed neighbors do affects everyone in the community. Additionally, we have to think of the watershed as a whole connected unit, with the upland conditions affecting the quality of water, air etc. What happens upstream will influence everyone who lives downstream.