A creek flowing along your property is a valuable amenity. You and your creekside neighbors share responsibility for keeping the creek and its corridor healthy, both for people’s enjoyment and for the wildlife that depend upon this fragile waterway. In both rural and urban areas, a creek is an irreplaceable natural resource. Whether it flows year-round or seasonally, your creek provides water supply and groundwater recharge, wildlife habitat, a conduit for flood waters, and a host of aesthetic values. A creek is a part of the lives of all the people and animals that live within its watershed. A watershed is the land area which drains into the creek, including storm drain systems that carry rainwater and runoff from streets and property to the creek.
The purpose of this guide is to give rural residential landowners a sense of their place in the Russian River Watershed, to provide practical creek care information, and to offer a host of resources to help with the maintenance and upkeep of creekside property. Because the Russian River Watershed is almost entirely in private ownership, landowners and local residents play a key role in protecting and improving the river’s health. This stewardship guide will educate Russian River Watershed residents on how to responsibly care for their property. It contains realistic guidelines for habitat enhancement and restoration projects, including permitting requirements, and a reference section with sources for materials and project assistance.