Riparian Forest Buffers
Source: National Association of RC&D Council
Map Description:
Riparian forest buffers are natural or planted streamside woodlands comprised of trees, shrubs, and grasses. They are designed to buffer non-point source pollution, such as excess nutrient and pesticide runoff, generated from adjacent land use. Riparian forest buffers also reduce stream bank erosion, enhance aquatic environments, augment wildlife habitat, and provide aesthetic value. Riparian forest buffers were observed in 81% of the RC&D areas and 104 RC&D Councils were directly involved in projects. Opportunities for installing additional buffers are recognized in 93% of the RC&D areas. Approximately the same amount of forested riparian buffers were planted as were the result of maintaining naturally occurring vegetation. These buffers are used to address more than one issue at a time, with the dominant intent (89%) being to control streambank erosion, followed by controlling non-point source pollution at 83% and enhancing wildlife habitat at 73%. In addition, restoration, in-channel erosion, aquatic habitat, and aesthetics were all addressed more than 50% of the time.

Cautions for this Product:
This map is taken from a report which summarizes the results of a national survey on agroforestry. This survey was completed by Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils during the summer of 1999. Of the 315 RC&D's in the United States, 222 completed the survey (71% return). Of these, two-thirds had direct involvement in agroforestry practices.

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