The assessment of the impacts of forestry activities on water quality is a critical component of forestry management and planning, especially when watersheds are being used for different water uses by different stakeholders. Traditional methodologies for assessing these impacts, while accurate, often do not take into account the intended use of water. Water quality data are inherently technical and are not conducive to communication to all stakeholders—especially the public. There is a need for a communications-based assessment tool that assesses the impact of forestry activities on water quality from the perspective of different water uses. This paper describes the development and application of such a tool, the Forestry Water Quality Index (FWQI). The FWQI has been developed specifically to capture, evaluate and communicate the impact of forestry activities on water quality to multiple stakeholders. Initially based on the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's Water Quality Index, the FWQI was specifically adapted for applications in forestry management. Details of this adaptation and its methodology are outlined. Case studies from Newfoundland and Labrador illustrate the use of the FWQI for communication, performance evaluation, and planning and technical data analysis. The FWQI tool has the ability to compare pre- and post-forestry water quality data (communication), determine the effectiveness of best management practices (performance evaluation), predict water quality after forestry activities (planning) and evaluate seasonal variations in water quality (data analysis). These components provide useful information for the evaluation of the effects of forestry activities on water quality and to ensure sustainable forest management. It can be utilized by both forestry and water resources management to ensure sustainable development of the forestry sector. Key words: FWQI, sustainable forest management, water quality, Newfoundland and Labrador

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