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Methods to Protect Rivers and Streams

• Assemble comprehensive maps and data of the streamís biological, geological, social, cultural, political and land use components. This will help in understanding the opportunities and problems existing and help to achieve riparian habitat goals.

• Protect the streamside riparian forests of river bottoms and marsh which harbor the richest and biologically diverse wildlife communities in the arid West. River bottom cottonwoods and their associated wetland plants anchor the soils and store water that assists in natural flood control and water filtration. The wetland vegetation offers shelter to resident and migratory birds and animals. These overhanging gallery forests are pleasing to the eye and stabilize the temperature of the water.

• Revitalize and restore community waterfronts to make them focal points of municipalities. Healthy riverfronts equate to economic prosperity and a higher quality of life.

• Modify irrigation systems, dams and intake structures and canals to ensure safe fish passage and protection of instream flows. The science of water use and efficiency has improved, allowing water users to save money over the long run and recreationists to enjoy higher flows and thriving fish populations.

• Allow the river to naturally occupy its floodplain and stabilize its banks using non-structural alternatives.

• Work with landowners to voluntarily enroll meander zone reaches of the river into conservation easements and secure funding for the purchase of critical lands from willing sellers. Work with private and government entities to increase funding for rehabilitation and restoration work.

• Promote appropriate land use in the floodplain. Development within the floodplain can be directed away from floodplain areas.

• Control noxious weeds. Promote livestock grazing practices that do not leave grasslands susceptible to weed invasion.

• Store water in the floodplain to counteract flooding. ~

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