U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center


Date of this Version



Published by the National Agroforestry Center (NAC).


Currently, there is no scientific literature examining appropriate riparian buffer widths for water quality for streams on private agriculturally dominated lands in arid regions of the Intermountain West. The initial step in this research effort was a review of buffer research as documented in the literature in other physiographic regions of the United States. Research findings on appropriate buffer widths for water quality parameters were synthesized using a matrix format. Differences between arid and non-arid landscape characteristics, soil, topography, vegetation, climate and hydrology and their effect on buffers for water quality were also researched. The combined research findings in this document (Appendix C) were then used to develop Buffer Design Guidelines for Water Quality and Wildlife Habitat Functions on Agricultural Landscapes in the Intermountain West.