Riparian Health Assessment

An open space in the forest with a view of a narrow creek going into the mountains

Riparian Profile & Reference Sites

Demonstration, profile and reference sites are cost effective methods of displaying and testing riparian management options using local producers. Other producers and community members are given the opportunity to educate themselves about riparian management options as well as to discuss and evaluate the benefits and applicability to their region by touching, seeing and examining the site. Demonstration, profile and reference sites are valuable and practical tools for producers and communities. Learn how to select effective demonstration, profile and reference sites.

Riparian Demonstration Sites – A guide to selection and development

Demonstration sites test and display riparian management options. They are places where existing riparian management is modified and new techniques are incorporated. Examples include changes in livestock management such as: implementing a rotational grazing or riparian pasture system, adding new water sources, or applying new technology.

Riparian Health Training

Would you like to better understand the health of your riparian area? The Riparian Health Training fact sheet provides answers on the type of training provided by Cows and Fish and how to choose the right training for you.

To obtain printed copies of these publications, please use our Online Order Form.

Invasive and Disturbance-caused Plants Fact Sheet

This fact sheet explains all you need to know about weeds, or invasive and disturbance-caused plants, in riparian areas. From different types of weeds to the impact of weeds in riparian areas and why weeds are included in riparian health assessments. For a complete list of all invasive and disturbance-caused plants see the fact sheet Invasive Weeds and Disturbance-caused Undesirable Plants List.

Invasive Weed and Disturbance-caused Undesirable Plants List

A list of invasive weed and disturbance-caused undesirable plants used by Cows and Fish staff to complete riparian health assessments and inventories (designed for use in Alberta). This list is a tool that landowners, resource managers, and communities can use in understanding riparian health assessments and examining their own riparian areas. Note that the same list can be found at the back of the Riparian Health Assessment Field Workbook.  Invasive plant species locally elevated by municipalities are not included in this list.

Riparian Health Assessment for Lakes, Sloughs and Wetlands Field Workbook.

Health assessment for Lakes, Sloughs and Wetlands.

Riparian Health Assessment for Streams and Small Rivers Field Workbook.

Health assessment for streams and small rivers.

Riparian Health Assessment and Inventory

Wondering how to measure the health of your riparian area? This 4-page fact sheet will give you some ideas on why you may want to look at the health of your riparian area, and how you can use the information to make management decisions. It also describes the differences between riparian health assessment and inventory, the benefits of both, and how Cows and Fish can help.

What does riparian health look like? What makes a site healthy or less than healthy? See Riparian Areas: A User’s Guide to Health for a colourful, image based, 46-page booklet to help you tune your eye to what makes up riparian health.

To answer the question “Is this riparian area healthy?”, consider doing a Riparian Health Assessment, and request one of our landowner’s guides to riparian health, better known as Riparian Health Assessment Field Workbooks. These are pocket guides for landowners to easily determine the health of their riparian area and as an education and awareness aid for resource managers:

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Oil painting of an aerial view of a riparian area