Forests provide a myriad of hydrological services for the benefit of human societies. It is for this reason that, wherever possible, forests are maintained in drinking water catchments. However, usually these services are not paid for and are taken for granted. They tend to be valued only when an infrequent event such as a wildfire or a logging operation threatens to interrupt this steady, free provision of benefits. The aim of this fellowship was to explore examples in the United States of America where ‘watershed services’ are valued and investments made in forest management to improve or maintain these services paid for by downstream water users.