BLM Arizona Wetlands and Riparian
Healthy riparian and wetland areas are critical to healthy watersheds and wildlife habitat. These areas support vegetation adapted to soils saturated by surface or ground water. 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.
Wildlife and communities all benefit from landscapes with healthy riparian-wetlands. Water 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 and serve as important corridors for migratory species. Riparian-wetland areas provide local communities with adequate supplies of clean water.
The principle activities of the Arizona BLM Riparian Management Program are to assess riparian condition, implement restoration actions in riparian areas with poor conditions, and monitor to evaluate restoration success or guide appropriate adaptive management actions. The BLM is an active participant in the Creeks and Communities Strategy. Creeks and Communities is a network of teams and individuals among federal and state agencies, non-government organizations, universities, and private affiliates, implementing the Creeks and Communities Strategy at the state and regional scale.
The strategy includes several objectives:
- To create awareness and understanding of riparian and wetland management and invite participation across multiple scales such as local, regional or national initiatives or partnerships.
- To provide tools, such as trainings and workshops in assessment, restoration and monitoring of riparian areas, to increase understanding of riparian wetland function to individuals and groups with diverse interests.
- To provide land managers, local communities and other interested stakeholders with assistance in developing solutions to management challenges.