Teachable Moments: Riparian Buffers


A sapling on Beaver Creek doing it’s part.

You’ve had a good fishing trip so far. A few to the net;  more in than those hooked and lost is always better. The action, for the most part, has kept you less aware than normal. The randomness of the landscape has abated to let you focus on fishing.  Then as you round a bend, you get a sense that something bigger than yourself is happening—and it is.  The chaos of nature has given way to an odd uniformity.

If you angle in the valley, I’m certain you’ve walked through at least one riparian buffer. Split or whole, you’ve probably noticed the protective Tubex shelters (those plastic sheaths around the base of trees) and that uniformity of flora that stands in contrast to the surrounding landscape. Eventually, with time and the benefits of intelligent design this odd space will fade into wild, beautiful chaos.  The canopy will fill in, banks will recede a bit, grasses will grow up, branches will fall and wildlife will cut their paths. Mother nature will smooth it over and march on thankful that humans, despite the many distractions of modern life, took the time to lend a hand.

If you’ve ever wondered just what a riparian buffer is and why they are so important, please click a little further and learn a bit.

Bobby Whitescarver of Whitescarver Natural Resource Management has put together a nice post (read it here) as well as a video (see it here) on the facts and importance of riparian buffers. It’s short and entertaining.