Our chapter is offering free copies of the book “My Healthy Stream, a Handbook for Streamside Owners” to teachers in Northeastern Wisoconsin classsrooms interested in water conservation and the environment. Contents are understandable for grades 9 to adults. The book is available for check out from the Brown and Door County libraries. Please contact us if you’re interested in obtaining copies for your classroom.
Streams are the “life blood” of the land. They are “veins and arteries” that carry the substance-water-that all life depends on. The food we eat, our health, and our overall quality of life are inextricably linked to the quality and quantity of water flowing in our rivers and streams. From a tiny spring seep trickling into a small stream to large rivers, streams connect the mountains to the valleys, the headwaters to the oceans, and the people to the land. The health of our streams is a direct reflection of the health of the land.
Streams are constantly changing. They move across valleys, they erode banks and then carry these sediments many miles downstream. One minute streams are calm and gentle, but the next, they can become a force of nature driven over their banks by storms arising in distant headwaters. Managing in such a changeable environment can be a huge challenge.
Our goal in writing this book is to provide the basic principles and practices of good streamside management to landowners both rural and urban. This handbook is intended to help you be a good steward of your land. It is not meant to be an exhaustive treatise or technical guide but instead a starting point that provides landowners with the basic information needed to help maintain and improve the health of their streams and streamside riparian lands. Download Book
We’ve divided the book into chapters that can stand alone but also build on one another. We hope not only to stimulate your interest about how to manage these resources, but also about how to be a more thoughtful steward of streams and their watersheds. To this end, the final chapter includes places to find more information about streams and a short list of what we think are the best organizations around the country working to protect stream resources. These organizations would love your support and can be a great help to landowner efforts. We especially want to call attention to Trout Unlimited (www.tu.org). For more than 50 years, it has served as the nationwide leader in stream protection and restoration, and has worked with landowners across the country to restore the integrity, productivity, and beauty of countless waterways.
Childhood experiences have a way of making permanent impressions. While each of us grew up in different parts of the country, as young boys we tromped in and along the streams near our homes. We spent many days fishing, taking a cool dip on a hot summer day, or just wasting away the hours listening to the rushing rapids. We developed a love for the outdoors and love of streams. In one way or another we have made a good part of our life’s work learning about and caring for streams. It is our hope that this work will help landowners be better stewards of the lands and water we all depend on.
Jack E. Williams , Michael P. Dombeck , Christopher A. Wood