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    Author(s): Craig W. Johnson; Susan Buffler
    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)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (2.4 MB)


    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.

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

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