Many of the landowners we interviewed enjoyed viewing wildlife in and around the stream on their property. Backyard Conservation is a term used by the Natural Resources Conservation Service that refers to a suite of practices (e.g., planting trees) that suburban homeowners can implement to provide habitat for wildlife, beautify their yard, and protect stream quality.
Many of the practices that farmers and ranchers use aim to protect the quality of air, soil, water, plants, and wildlife in the area. Implementing similar practices into your own backyard can have the same positive effect on the environment, and most of the conservation strategies are easy to put into place.
Photo credit: Virginia Cooperative Extension, Chesterfield County
Some of the strategies might require initial costs and construction, and most require monitoring and maintenance throughout. Dedication and commitment to continuing these conservation strategies in your backyard is a must!
There are many excellent guides available online (see Resource section below) and in print from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Divsion of Wildlfie that can assist you in identifying wildlife in and around streams. To order the Division's wildlife identification guides conact 1-800-wildlife (1-800-945-3543). The USDA?s Natural Resources Conservation Service Backyard Conservation guide recommends and outlines strategies like planting trees, creating habitat for beneficial wildlife like birds, bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, constructing backyard ponds and wetlands, composting and mulching, terracing, pest management, and careful nutrient and water use. In addition to providing tips and highlights on the different practices, the handbook also provides a list of resources that can provide additional information and assistance.
Photo credit: Upper Willamette Soil and Water Conservation District, Eugene, Oregon
Riparian Corridor Birds in Ohio
Fish common to Ohio streams
Backyard Conservation: Bringing Conservation from the Countryside to Your Backyard. A cooperative project of: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Association of Conservation Districts, the Wildlife Habitat Council, and the National Audubon Society. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs143_023308.pdf