Riparian Ecosystems, Volume 1: Science Synthesis and Management Implications (2020)


Published: May 2018

Revised: July 2020

Pages: 304

Author(s): Timothy Quinn, George F. Wilhere, and Kirk L. Krueger

This document was originally published online in 2018. The 2020 version has been slightly modified to improve clarity and readability. 


This Priority Habitats and Species (PHS) document of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is provided in support of the agency’s mission to preserve, protect, and perpetuate the state’s fish, wildlife, and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities. WDFW works cooperatively with land use decision makers and landowners to facilitate solutions that accommodate local needs and needs of fish and wildlife. One of WDFW’s important roles in land use decision making is that of technical advisor: we provide information about the habitat needs of fish and wildlife and the likely implications of various land use decisions for fish and wildlife.

The nine chapters of Volume 1 are a partial update of a 1997 document entitled Management Recommendations for Washington’s Priority Habitats: Riparian. This document Riparian Ecosystems, Volume 1: Science Synthesis and Management Implications is a partial update because it addresses only aquatic species. Riparian needs of terrestrial species will be updated in the future. Until that update is complete, readers can consult the 1997 document, available at http://wdfw., for information about riparian ecosystems and terrestrial species.

Priority Habitats are places that warrant special consideration for protection when land use decisions are made. For more information, see Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2008. Priority Habitat and Species List, available at

The PHS program provides land use decision support to clients such as local governments, tribes, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and landowners. PHS consists of a PHS List, PHS Maps available at habitats/at-risk/phs/maps, PHS Management Recommendations, and technical assistance from our regional habitat biologists.

This PHS document compliments a family of PHS documents including Landscape Planning for Washington’s Wildlife: Managing for Biodiversity in Developing Areas and Land Use Planning for Salmon, Steelhead and Trout: A land use planner’s guide to salmonid habitat protection and recovery, available at

Suggested citation

Quinn, T., G.F. Wilhere, and K.L. Krueger, technical editors. 2020. Riparian Ecosystems, Volume 1: Science Synthesis and Management Implications. Habitat Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia.

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