If you don’t know what a riparian zone is, you’re not alone. Come along with the crew of Tennessee Uncharted and host Erick Baker as we learn about this vital buffer and filter for our natural waterways, and how TWRA and other state agencies work with private landowners to improve the health of their riparian zones.
Erick does a little shovel work while we learn about measures to protect saplings while refurbishing bare riparian zones, which can allow sediment, fertilizers and animal waste to run directly into our streams with rain runoff. TWRA, TVA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency and The Nature Conservancy come together to help incentivize the repair of riparian zones for private landowners with grant programs and management plans.
Then, it’s off to class for Erick and the crew as they visit students of The University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture in their watery, outdoor classroom, where we learn more about the reliance of stream ecology on robust riparian zones.
We make one more stop to view the devastation left behind by arsons in a series of wildfires. TWRA helps maintain the health and growth of our national forests with revenue from hunting licenses. They plan to use this spring as a time to start fresh, regenerate and replant. It’s the first step to regaining the beauty and lush ecology of our area’s vast forests.