Demonstrating Value of Riparian Restoration Tool to Riparian Forest Buffer Advisory Committee
Streams such as Lynn Camp Prong in Smoky Mountain National Park provide vital habitat for coldwater species.
The meeting offered the Committee an opportunity to hear presentations and discuss collaborative opportunities with partners using GIS, modeling, and other tools for mapping, planning, targeting, and reporting to increase efficiency and effectiveness in riparian forest buffer work. During the meeting, participants like the Appalachian LCC developed a collective understanding of the tools and technologies, discussed opportunities for collaboration with RFB planning, tracking, and reporting, and identified gaps and future directions.
The Appalachian LCC Riparian decision support tool works by identifying vulnerable stream and riverbanks that lack tree cover and shade in coldwater stream habitats. By locating the best spots to plant trees in riparian zones, resource managers can provide shade that limits the amount of solar radiation heating the water and reduce the impacts from climate change.
The purpose of the Riparian Forest Buffer Advisory Committee is to help increase the establishment of riparian forest buffers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Goals include:
- Implement a collaborative, comprehensive, flexible, and community-based initiative
- Provide technical assistance for buffer establishment and maintenance
- Build and enhance community partnerships
- Complement the approach by PA Department of Environmental Protection and the Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Connect landowners and partners to funding opportunities
The committee includes a variety of partners from federal, state, and local agencies, educations institutions, agriculture business, and non-profit conservation organizations.