The Forest to Stream Connection

The Forest to Stream Connection

Michigan's forests provide abundant clean water and quality fish habitat...from leaf and woody debris inputs, to shade, pollutant filtering, and more.

Understanding the Science Behind Riparian Forest Buffers: Effects on Water Quality
A document detailing the benefits of riparian buffers and appropriate uses for them.

An article summarizing what riparian zones are and how they work.  The most general function of riparian forest buffer systems is to provide control of the stream environment.

Riparian Forest Buffers: Function and Design for Protection and Enhancement of Water Resources
A US Forest Service publication discussing riparian forest buffer function and design for protection and enhancement of water resources.

Improving stream habitat on state forest land
Document describing the benefits of large woody debris in streams and how to introduce more.  "Many of the streams on state forest land lack the large woody debris (LWD) component normally found within mature, forested landscapes due to previous timber harvesting practices." 

Guidelines for wood additions to first and second order streams
This guide presents an overview of the environmental benefits from adding woody biomass to first and second order streams, baselines for evaluating stream condition, site selection, permitting, risk assessment, and tips for successful installation. "...adding 4 pieces of wood, which were in contact with the water year round, every 100 feet of stream showed increases in trout populations from 2 to 5 times...!)

Montana Forestry Best Management Practices
Good article for the 'why' of BMPs as it relates to cold water fisheries.  Explains key factors riparian zones play in stream health and the variety of benefits to the overall ecosystem.

Provides information to guide future stream protection and restoration efforts in Michigan, especially as they relate to the management of forests.

Riparian Forest Buffers for Trout Habitat Improvement
A publication based on scientific article review that examines the benefits, design, establishment and maintenance of riparian forest buffers.

Effects of Forest Disturbance on Hydrologic Processes and Watershed Response
Describes how changes in forest cover, brought about by logging, insects, disease, fire, or forest regrowth, affect hydrologic processes at both the stand and watershed scale.

Connectivity: Four dimensions
Connectivity refers to the flow, exchange and pathways that move organisms, energy and matter throughout the watershed system. These interactions create complex, interdependent processes that vary over time.

North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative
An excellent resource on the importance of stream connectivity. The North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) is a network of individuals from universities, conservation organizations, and state and federal natural resource and transportation departments focused on improving aquatic connectivity across a thirteen-state region, from Maine to West Virginia.

TU: My healthy stream
Handbook for streamside owners - provides the basic principles and practices of good streamside management to landowners

Riparian Forest Stewardship
Explains what a riparian forest is, the benefits of it, and how to protect it.