Montana Audubon

Montana Audubon works at the local, state and national policy levels to protect our natural heritage.

Bank Stabilization

Bank Stabilization Guide Available: Is it a Barb or a Weir?

graphic_bankOne of the key ways people impact floodplains in Montana is through bank stabilization projects. Weirs, riprap, barbs and other structures prevent our rivers and streams from doing what they were designed to do: meander. In order to help people understand the impacts of these structures on our streams and rivers, Montana Audubon recently released a guide to the bank stabilization structures commonly used in the state.

“Many citizens have requested a description of the structures being built along Montana’s streams and how they impact river functions,” said Janet Ellis, Montana Audubon’s Conservation Policy Director. “In the Audubon tradition we created a field guide—but this one is to bank stabilization structures.”

This eight-page guide, Learning to Go with the Flow: Streams and Bank Stabilization introduces people to the effects of bank stabilization structures on stream dynamics. From the text and illustrations, readers will be able to understand the reasons landowners use bank stabilization, what the structures look like, what they are made from, and how they impact rivers and floodplains. There is much public attention currently focused on how government agencies are affecting floodplains by allowing more and more structures to armor our riverbanks.

Bank_Stabilization_pub_cover-1Montana Audubon became interested in bank stabilization issues because of our concerns for wildlife and wildlife habitat. The habitat located along our streams and rivers is the richest wildlife habitat in the state. It also plays a critical role in flood protection, controlling water pollution, and protecting water quality.

This guide has gotten good reviews. Several Conservation Districts have requested copies to hand out to the public. It will also be required reading for a class at the University of Montana this fall.

Download a copy of Learning to Go with the Flow: Streams and Bank Stabilization here. If you would like to obtain a copy by mail, order your FREE copy by sending your name, address, and the requested item to Janet Ellis.

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