Presentation on theme: "River Pathways An Introduction to Riparian Areas."— Presentation transcript:
River Pathways An Introduction to Riparian Areas
What is a Riparian Area? “Riparian - Relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (such as a river) or sometimes of a lake or tidewater.” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)
Why Protect Riparian Areas? In Arizona, some estimate that riparian areas are only 0.4% of the total land area
Why Protect Riparian Areas? 70% of Arizona’s threatened and endangered vertebrates depend on these areas 70% of Arizona’s threatened and endangered vertebrates depend on these areas
Why Protect Riparian Areas? Their important role is disproportionate to the small area they cover
Value vs. Function Functions: Functions: are the ecological, hydrological, or other processes that maintain the ecosystem Value: is the worth, desirability, or usefulness of a resource. Value can change with time while functions are constant
Functions of Riparian Areas Provide fish and wildlife habitat
Functions of Riparian Areas Filter and retains upland sediment
Functions of Riparian Areas Stabilize streambanks and allows for the build up of new streambanks
Functions of Riparian Areas Increase water storage in subsurface aquifers
Values of Riparian Areas They provide habitat for seventy percent of the threatened and endangered vertebrates in Arizona.
Values of Riparian Areas They increase drinkable water quality and quantity by reducing nonpoint source pollutants
Values of Riparian Areas They provide valuable resources needed for livestock production Water Forage Shade
Values of Riparian Areas They provide areas for recreational activities such as hiking horse-back riding cycling fishing Hunting Swimming raft floating Boating Canoeing bird & wildlife watching Picnicking Camping off-road vehicle use.
Values of Riparian Areas cont. They reduce the impacts of seasonal flooding
Managing for Multiple-Use There are a great number of people who find value in riparian areas and even more who benefit from their functions.
Managing for Multiple-Use People disagree on which values and functions are most important. These disagreements have the potential to create conflict.
Managing for Multiple-Use Many uses may conflict with one another. Land managers must manage these areas so that everyone can benefit from its values and functions and so no one value or function infringes on another.
The future of Riparian Areas Many estimate that 70- 90% of riparian areas in the United States have been altered by human activities including construction of dams, agriculture, and urbanization.
The future of Riparian Areas The significant increase in urban population compared to rural population is a very important trend when thinking about Arizona’s riparian areas.
The future of Riparian Areas A higher urban population of the state will lead to a significant increase in environmental and recreation oriented values for riparian areas.
The future of Riparian Areas Rural communities often see these areas as a resource for community economic development. For example, many communities depend on raising livestock as the main source of income.
The future of Riparian Areas Restoration of riparian areas should be a national goal.
The future of Riparian Areas To have successful and effective conservation in riparian areas in arid and semi-arid regions, monitoring is essential.
The future of Riparian Areas Without data that shows the quality and quantity of remaining riparian habitat, conservation is impossible.