wilderness photo

Riparian Forest Stewardship

Letting nature nurture water

What is the riparian forest?

The riparian forest is found along the borders of streams, lakes, reservoirs, springs and seeps. Its wet soils and high water table create a place for water-loving plants. It is referred to as a "green zone" because vegetation stays green longer during the summer months. Although it accounts for less than 5 percent of the total forest, its plant and animal variety make it a productive and valuable part of the forest ecosystem.

What does it do?

A riparian forest is a filter that traps sediment, and a sponge that controls water flow. Its plants protect the stream bank.

What if it's damaged?

Riparian forest damage can result in deterioration of water quality. Other consequences are increased filtering costs for drinking water, damaged irrigation systems, increased flood potential, reduced wildlife habitat and property loss.