Do you plant riparian forested buffers? We’re looking for partners to help test our new prioritization methodology in the field.

The Implementing Precision Conservation in the Susquehanna River Watershed project team is pleased to announce the launch of our new Riparian Forest Buffer Prioritization Tool. First, we identified 43,833 individual gaps in riparian forest buffer coverage in Clinton and Centre Counties in Pennsylvania. We call these “riparian forest buffer gaps.” In a January 2017 workshop in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania, we asked 28 local practitioners,

“What does it mean for riparian forest buffer restoration to give us the biggest bang for the buck?” Click here for a summary of the workshop.

In short, restoration should yield the greatest water quality and wildlife benefits. We then developed a prioritization methodology to rank the buffers based on characteristics including:

  • Exceptional Value/High Quality Streams
  • Bird habitat
  • Karst features
  • Area of agriculture, impervious surface, and turf grass within the drainage area that runs off through the gap into the stream
  • Soil erodibility

We are now looking for project partners who are moving forward with riparian buffer implementation in 2017 to help us test our prioritization methodology.

As a partner, you would continue project implementation as normal–we will partner with you to explore how these datasets reflect real-world conditions by working with researchers to carry-out pre- and post-construction monitoring at your project site. 
implementWe are specifically interested in projects to be implemented between late July and early November 2017. We are most interested in projects in Elk, Fishing, and Pine Creek Watersheds, however, if we aren’t able to find 4 projects in those areas, we will consider any projects they are moving forward in Centre and Clinton Counties, Pennsylvania in the same timeframe. We’d like to emphasize that our goal is to partner on any buffer projects, not just the highest ranking buffer gaps.
Requirements for project selection:
  • Stream must have perennial flow.
  • We will consider riparian buffer plantings that are done this spring or summer as long as no in-stream work is occurring or has occurred.
If you would like to partner with us:
  • Please contact any interested landowners and share with them the landowner fact sheet below.
  • If the landowner is interested in meeting with the project team, please contact Adrienne Gemberling at agemberling@chesapeakeconservancy.org or  570-372-4762 to discuss disclosure forms and scheduling a site visit.
  • We are drafting a Precision Conservation Monitoring Agreement now–highlights include:
    • 3-10 year contract between the project team and Landowner(s) that will enable data collection for the Precision Conservation Project.
    • Contract would enable project team staff to visit the property to conduct water monitoring activities and perform equipment maintenance as needed.
    • Equipment and installation costs will be paid project team and not the landowners.
    • Landowners will not be liable for injury or accidents that occur at monitoring location sites.

Click here for more information on the Implementing Precision Conservation in the Susquehanna River Watershed project. We look forward to hearing from you!

Landowner Fact Sheet