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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

Sustaining Forests

Riparian Zone Protection

[image:] Riparian area with buffer zone protection.Research Issue

Streams, wetlands, and riparian areas are some of the most valuable natural areas.  From an ecological / biological perspective, riparian areas are among the most productive wildlife habitat on the continent.  Because of their ecological importance, the protection of riparian areas is a top priority with most state and federal conservation agencies.  Riparian areas also are some of the best sites for producing high-quality wood products. 

Our Research

This research effort evaluates the opportunity costs of different stream side management zone (SMZ) protection options for different combinations of stand types and logging technologies.  These opportunity/capital recovery costs will be compared with the ecological benefits of different SMZs using the principles of benefit/cost analysis. 

Expected Outcomes

The results will quantify the costs and ecological benefit tradeoffs of implementing alternative buffer zone widths to protect riparian areas.  The results should be valuable to managers, planners, landowners, and loggers considering using alternative width buffer zones to protect riparian areas.

Research Results

LeDoux, Chris B; Wilkerson, Ethel.  2006. A case study assessing opportunity costs and ecological benefits of alternative streamside management zones and logging systems for Eastern hardwood forests.  Res. Pap. NRS-1.  Newtown Square, PA:  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station.  16 p.

Research Participants

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Chris B. LeDoux, US Forest Service- Northern Research Station, Industrial Engineer (Retired)

Research Partners

  • Ms. Ethel Wilkerson, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences

For More Information

  • Toni Jones, US Forest Service - Northern Research Station, Computer Programmer


Last Modified: 03/03/2016