The downstream effects of timber harvest in the Ozarks of Missouri can be evaluated by analogy to other geographic areas and by historical analysis of responses to past land use activities. Based on research from other geographic regions, timber harvest in the Ozarks would be expected to have minor effects on annual water yield and dissolved-phase water quality. The potential exists for haul roads to increase stormflow discharges and sediment yields. Of the possible downstream effects, sediment yield is potentially the most severe and difficult to predict; siting and design of roads are probably the most critical management concerns for minimizing downstream effects. Historical analysis shows that Ozark streams have been destabilized by past land use practices, primarily in the riparian zone. Therefore, present-day timber harvest takes place in a landscape where streams have lowered resilience to disturbance. Predictions of future downstream effects of timber harvest in the Ozarks are complicated by the inherent complexity of cumulative watershed effects and the lack of detailed, long-term instrumental records at appropriate scales.