Healthy riparian and wetland areas are critical to healthy watersheds. Wetlands support vegetation adapted to soils saturated by surface or ground water. Examples of wetlands include marshes, swamps, and bogs. Riparian areas serve as habitats and travel corridors for vegetative communities. They link wetlands to streams and upland areas. Examples of riparian areas include cottonwood and willow forests along streams and vegetation along lakeshores.
Wildlife and communities all benefit from landscapes with healthy riparian-wetlands. Water, itself, is a precious resource on public lands in the arid West. Riparian-wetland areas store life-sustaining supplies of water to ensure this resource is available during times of drought. They serve as habitats for fish and wildlife. Riparian-wetland areas provide local communities with adequate supplies of clean water.
Learn more about the BLM's wetlands and riparian program: