Healthy Waterways Support Biodiversity

Every animal and plant living in and along a waterway is connected to the conditions of the land its water passes through.

The beavers, frogs and fish swimming in the water, and the birds and land mammals moving through the riverside habitat will be thriving if living buffers are in place. They can sense health and are drawn to it. The vegetation provides clean water, food and cover for these species. To have healthy waterways then requires that we manage for healthy landscapes.

Farms blessed with river frontage property can augment existing habitat and restore what’s missing. Making the riparian area structurally diverse with trees and shrubs, botanically diverse with many native species, and as wide as possible gives multifunctional benefits. Riparian trees, when given room, can store the most amount of carbon in the least amount of space on the farm. In the arid West, it is important to use plants naturally adapted to wet riparian areas.