Health Assessment & Inventory Forms

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What is the difference between Riparian Health Assessment and Riparian Health Inventory?

Riparian Health Assessments

A short list of questions to quickly help landowners and land managers determine the relative health of their riparian areas. It provides a rapid survey of the area and a quick calculation of relative health. A very useful tool for resource managers to use as a training aid and extension tool.

Riparian Health Assessment Field Workbooks combine ecological information on riparian areas and identification of these zones, with detailed steps on how to collect riparian health information and extra field sheets to collect data on multiple sites or monitor a site over a longer term. These handy field workbooks can be downloaded or ordered from our Publications page.

Riparian Health Inventory

A detailed inventory that thoroughly examines vegetation, soil parameters, and hydrology of the area. Riparian health inventory is used by riparian resource management professionals to capture benchmark data, examine details of the plant community and structure, and for monitoring purposes. It is a very important tool for examining the health of watersheds, collecting baseline information, and for evaluating the impact of management changes over time. The riparian health score is calculated by computer based on the details of the inventory. Please contact us if you would like more information about using this method in your area. (Note: the inventory does not include an examination of water quality).

Part of completing a full riparian health assessment or inventory includes describing the riparian habitat and plant communities, to understand the impact of past management or land use, plant community potential for the site, and succession pathways for change away from the current conditions. Understanding how riparian plant and habitat communities respond to management and site conditions is an important part of understanding a riparian site and you can learn more about them in the following documents, Classification and Management of Riparian and Wetland Sites for the Grassland Natural Region and the Parkland Natural Region and Dry Mixedwood Natural Subregion, are available to assist with identifying and classifying riparian plant communities.

Health Assessment Forms and User Manuals

Download our Riparian Health Assessment Forms and User Manuals

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Forms & User Manuals New as of May 2020

We offer workshops and training sessions in using the Riparian Health Assessments for streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands. If you are interested in learning more about how to determine riparian health, please contact us.

Health Inventory Forms and User Manuals

Download our Riparian Health Inventory Forms and User Manuals

NOTE: Because appropriate use of these forms requires extensive technical knowledge and training, they are not available to the general public. Ensuring a reasonable level of consistency and appropriate use of these tools requires training and ongoing practice of the techniques with qualified practitioners. If you feel you have the appropriate technical skills (plant identification, riparian and hydrogeological knowledge, extensive ocular estimating skills) and you wish to use the forms, please contact us to confirm your technical abilities and we will provide you with access to download the forms listed below. These forms are not designed to give you a riparian health score – they require an appropriate computer database to do so.

Use of these forms requires extensive ecological knowledge, specifically of plant communities and identification, hydrology, and related topics. Also, ensuring a reasonable level of consistency and appropriate use of these tools requires training and ongoing practice of the techniques with qualified practioners.

By downloading and using these forms and manuals, you assume all responsibility at law and you agree not to make any claims against Cows and Fish, and agree to indemnify Cows and Fish.

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User ManualUser Manual

Forms & User Manuals New as of May 2020

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Oil painting of an aerial view of a riparian area