Preserving robust riparian corridors (the vegetation along streams) is paramount to water quality, wildlife habitat, and overall watershed health. Riparian forest buffers serve as essential corridors that allow wildlife to travel, while the vegetation shades pools and traps sediment from entering streams. The Gold Ridge RCD works with landowners to protect and enhance these corridors, installing wildlife-friendly fencing to exclude livestock, and revegetating denuded streams with native plants.
The Sonoma County General Plan, updated in 2008, increased protections for riparian corridors by putting into place development and land use setbacks. You can read more about the riparian ordinance here.
Left: Aerial view of a stream's corridor. Right: The Tannery Creek Reserve in the upper reaches of the Salmon Creek watershed provides excellent riparian cover for the coho-bearing tributary.
A denuded stream in the Estero Americano watershed was fenced to exclude dairy cows, and planted with native riparian plants in partnership with Point Blue’s STRAW environmental education program.