Public Release: 

At the waters edge -- Managing riparian forests

North Central Research Station

Healthy riparian forests act as vital filters to protect water quality and as a reservoir of species diversity. The eastern United States contains one third of the nation's forest land and half of the nation's forest water. Until now, solid information on how to protect and manage these valuable lands was missing.

In a recently published book, Riparian Management in Forests of the Continental Eastern United States, edited by Forest Service scientists, Elon S. Verry, James W. Hornbeck, and C. Andrew Dolloff, nearly 50 experts describe state-of-the-art procedures for managing forested riparian areas. The publication also provides managers and policy makers with tools to develop site specific guidelines for addressing eastern riparian landscapes characterized by fragmented ecosystems, fragmented ownership, and diverse interest groups.

"Fortunately our nation has come to understand the values of riparian areas, and the importance of providing management. This summary of science and management for riparian areas will help insure the health of our nation's waters and the lands that border them", states Phil Janik, Deputy Chief and CFO, USDA Forest Service.

Verry, Research Forest Hydrologist at the North Central Research Station, summarized the major themes of the book:

• Riparian forest management is concerned with both the water as well as the forest and protecting the essential links between land and water that ensures quality water and quality aquatic habitats

• Human values and desires shape the way riparian areas are managed and shared stewardship is especially appropriate to find common ground

• Riparian areas should receive "active" management, with "hands-off" being but one option.

The book is the result of the "Riparian Management in Forests" symposium held in Columbus, Ohio in March 1998. Forty-eight authors were selected to present their concepts of riparian management in each of 19 subject areas. Over 250 particpants heard each author and offered critical reviews of the presentations. Each chapter was also reviewed anonymously by two reviewers. The 48 authors represent a broad array of scientists and managers from the Forest Service, State Departments of Natural Resources, state universities, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Environmental Protection Agency, forest industry, and large metropolitan areas in the eastern United States.

This comprehensive reference book is recommended for resource professionals and decision-makers concerned with land and water planning and regulation. The cost is $54.95 and can be ordered via the Internet at Lewis Press, a division of CRC Press, Enter the catalog number L1501 or search on the word "riparian". The book may also be ordered by mail at:


2000 NW Corporate Blvd
Boca Raton, FL USA 33431­9868

For further information contact: Sandy Verry, Ph.D
Research Forest Hydrologist
Riparian Ecology and Management Research Unit
North Central Research Station, USDA Forest Service
1831 Hwy 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744-3399

James W. Hornbeck, Ph.D
Research Forester
Ecological Processes Research Unit
Northeastern Research Station, USDA Forest Service
PO Box 640
Durham, NH 03824

C. Andrew Dolloff, Ph.D
Project Leader and Research Fisheries Biologist
Cold water Streams and Trout Habitat Research Unit
Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service
Address:Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0321

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.