Riparian area management: themes and recommendationsAuthor(s): David J. Welsch; James W. Hornbeck; Elon S. Verry; Andrew Dolloff; John G. Greis
Source: In: Verry, Elon S.; Hornbeck, James W.; Dolloff, C. Andrew, [Editors]. Riparian management in forests of the continental Eastern United States. Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers, CRC Press LLC: 321-340.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionThe end results of most of our management actions are reflected by the health of our rivers, streams, and lakes." Michael Dombeck, Chief, USDA Forest Service
In this final chapter [of Riparian Management in Forests of the Continental Eastern United States], we consider the overriding themes of riparian area management and list highlights and recommendations from each chapter.
Riparian forest management is concerned with the water as well as the forest. The combination of water and forest is both a feature of the landscape, and a priority in our values that has focused resource management on riparian issues. Riparian management has passed from a history of intense exploitation a century ago, through recent decades of neglect, to the intense demand for shared decisions we see today. Protecting the essential links between land and water ensures quality water and quality aquatic habitats.
Human values and desires shape the way riparian areas are managed. Values and desires often overlap or conflict, and there is a need to find common ground. The axiom "good stewardship is shared stewardship" is especially appropriate for riparian area management. It has given insight to complex management recommendations that consider use and the relationships among resources. Riparian areas should receive "active" management, with "hands-off" being one option.
Riparian areas are difficult to define and delineate. Physical or biological criteria seldom allow finding a location where one might comfortably say "My right foot is in the riparian area, and my left foot is not." Perhaps more than any other landscape feature, riparian areas focus our concept of landscape connections for fish and animal communities, for the interaction of forest regeneration with forest-site, and for the interaction of our personal economics with our personal recreation. Each of our disciplines (wood, water, wildlife, fisheries, recreation, farming, and transportation) finds reasons to sharpen its perception of interdisciplinary management in a landscape framework with multiple owners. This connected landscape is where land ownership and community stewardship tests the boundary between private rights and States rights.
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CitationWelsch, David J.; Hornbeck, James W.; Verry, Elon S.; Dolloff, Andrew; Greis, John G. 2000. Riparian area management: themes and recommendations. In: Verry, Elon S.; Hornbeck, James W.; Dolloff, C. Andrew, [Editors]. Riparian management in forests of the continental Eastern United States. Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers, CRC Press LLC: 321-340.
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