Photo Credit:DNRC Photo Library. Flooding on the Clark Fork
Buffers are naturally vegetated zones adjacent to rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands. These areas help to control floods, stabilize banks, provide wildlife habitat, and protect water quality. To protect these attributes that riparian areas and wetlands give us, any disturbance to the land should be placed away from these valuable areas. The house pictured to the right would have been safe from flooding had it been located further away from the river, or possibly if the banks were protected with dense plants, shrubs or trees. Healthy buffers protect homes and land values.
Different functions require different distances as shown in the diagram below.
Diagram courtesy of www.co.benton.or.us/cd/riparian/links.php
Follow the links to learn more about the values and functions of buffers, as well as ways to protect and restore these areas.