Streamside Planting and Buffers
Streamside (riparian) buffers are areas of transition between streams and upland areas consisting of native trees, shrubs, and grasses. The plants roots help stabilize stream banks to prevent erosion. There are many benefits to streamside buffers, such as:
Property Protection from floods and soil erosion by holding soil in place with plant roots.
Improvement of Water Quality by filtering sediment, animal wastes and pollutants and preventing them from entering the water.
Provide Valuable Habitat for fish, animals, and birds.
The Benton Conservation District can provide technical assistance through free streamside assessments and can recommend actions to improve and restore streamside buffers. The BCD can also provide support with the installation and cost of streamside buffers.
Streamside Fencing and Off-Channel Watering
Livestock are an integral part of the agricultural economy and a valued recreational asset. Utilizing some simple management practices can ensure healthy livestock and productive pastureland. These practices are also essential to maintaining healthy riparian areas on acreage with streams. There are numerous operating techniques including streamside fencing and off-channel watering that benefits your livestock, your property and the environment. For more information on streamside fencing and off-stream watering facilities and the financial opportunities available to implement these practices please contact the BCD.
A "watershed" is an area draining into a river, lake, or other water-body. The Department of Ecology has divided the state into 62 Water Resource Inventory Areas or WRIAs to delineate the state's major watersheds. Benton County is located within three of these WRIAs:
WRIA 31: Rock Glade Watershed
WRIA 37: Lower Yakima River Watershed
WRIA 40: Alkaki/Squilchuck Watershed
Water is a critically important resource in Benton County. The Yakima River flows through the center of Benton County and provides multiple beneficial uses including irrigation, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreational use. Conservation of water resources is vital to preserving our quality of life in Benton County. The BCD provides technical assistance, information and education to help our community maintain and care for our natural waterways.