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Publication Information

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Title: Riparian buffer design guidelines for water quality and wildlife habitat functions on agricultural landscapes in the Intermountain West

Author: Johnson, Craig W.; Buffler, Susan

Date: 2008

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-203. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 53 p.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: Intermountain West planners, designers, and resource managers are looking for science-based procedures for determining buffer widths and management techniques that will optimize the benefits riparian ecosystems provide. This study reviewed the riparian buffer literature, including protocols used to determine optimum buffer widths for water quality and wildlife habitat functions. We selected an existing protocol for determining buffer widths for water quality functions that could be readily adapted for use in this region. The protocol is based on the best available science, uses existing or easily obtained data, and is practical for in-field applications. The protocol was modified to accommodate Intermountain West landscape attributes. In addition, a companion protocol was developed to determine buffer widths for wildlife habitat tiered to landowner willingness to participate in wildlife conservation. The research findings of this study have been compiled in handbook format. This handbook provides the user with a step-by-step protocol for determining optimal (variable) buffer widths for water quality and wildlife that maximize riparian ecosystem benefits and minimize the loss of productive farm and ranch land. It also includes a companion CD including a case study, data forms, worksheets, reference appendices, and other informational material to assist the user.

Keywords: riparian buffers, water quality, wildlife, Intermountain West, agriculture, habitat

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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Citation:


Johnson, Craig W.; Buffler, Susan 2008. Riparian buffer design guidelines for water quality and wildlife habitat functions on agricultural landscapes in the Intermountain West. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-203. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 53 p.

 


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