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Jun 9, 2020

Complex stream systems require tailored approaches to address the conservation and resource concerns of Kansas landowners.

Andy Klein and Jarran Tindle are normally found on the streambanks of Kansas, but we persuaded them to share their wealth of experience with us on episode 3 of the Kansas Forest Service Podcast.

What does a Riparian Forester do?

Andy Klein explains that as a riparian forester, his job is to re-establish riparian forests along the rivers and large streams of Kansas. He most often works in the state's steambank protection program.

Jarran works closely with NRCS to plant buffers on small streams and creeks with Kansas landowners.

The root of it all.

Both Andy and Jarran were drawn to forestry because of their love of the outdoors and a desire to do something positive for the environment. While Kansas is not always known for its forestry, streambank systems contribute greatly to the ecosystem that fuels the natural resource systems of Kansas.

Jarran speaks about the ways he helps landowners realize that they can meet their conservation goals and financial needs with practical approaches to streambank management.

 Conservation goals of landowners.

Erosion and the visual change and movement of streams is of great concern to landowners. Jarran finds that many landowners are driven by a desire to improve their land and make it more productive. By understanding the natural processes of streams to heal themselves, Jarran walks landowners through natural processes of flooding, sedimentation and movement that may have negative impacts.

Riparian forestry and flooding.

Riparian areas of Kansas took a hard hit from scouring flooding and backwater flooding in the spring of 2019. Andy sees the destructive impacts of flooding firsthand on the watersheds he works in daily. 

Backwater in the Tuttle Creek Reservoir deposited over two feet of sediment on top of newly established seedlings and killed or stress many mature trees. Farmers were then faced with difficult decision on how to handle sediment deposited on their fields.

Flooding and sediment deposition has made Kansas farm ground productive and fertile.

What can communities do to reduce the risk of flooding.

Municipalities can invest in watershed through financial support to improve water quality for their cities and by planting wider riparian corridors in areas they manage. Slowing down flood waters reduces the sedimentation of water in streams and rivers. Investing in the land and streams has positive results for all involved.

How to contact Jarran and Andy.

Andy Klein, Water Quality Forester
Phone: 785-564-6673

Jarran Tindle, Watershed Forester
Phone: 785-532-3340

Interesting streambank finds.

Backwaters in the Tuttle Creek Reservoir area also deposited this chest freezer in a tree 20 feet in the air. Backwater areas are designed to be part of the flood storage of federal reservoirs.

A chest freezer suspended in a tree 20 feet in the air.