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NEMO Nevada (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials)

Do we need to manage buffers?

Image of cow grazing riparian area.

Manage grazing carefully to allow riparian plants
to recover after each grazing session. Never leave
livestock in a riparian area continually.

Land use and management in buffers should complement the riparian vegetation and natural processes. Follow these tips to manage buffers:

  • Livestock grazing, if it occurs, should be carefully managed, with a limited season of use that allows plants to recover each time grazing occurs.
  • When grazing riparian areas, provide alternate sources of water and shade for livestock. Off-stream water reduces bank trampling.
  • Promote riparian plants that colonize exposed areas and stabilize banks.
  • Eradicate noxious weeds in and adjacent to the buffer.
  • Keep buildings, most fences, vehicles, trash and chemicals that could pollute the water, or piles of debris that would obstruct water flow, out of the buffer.
  • Manage vegetation for safety, but never remove all vegetation from the buffer.

Next: How can communities protect buffers?