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Extension > Environment > Agroforestry > Conservation Buffers

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Riparian Forest Buffers - Agroforestry - University of Minnesota Extension

Conservation Buffers

Conservation buffers are strips of vegetation placed in the landscape to influence ecological processes and provide a variety of goods and services to us. They are called by many names, including wildlife corridors, greenways, windbreaks, and filter strips to name just a few.

The two most common buffers are:

  • Vegetative Buffers: Buffers with mainly grass and forbs mixes.
  • Forest Buffers: Buffers with trees and shrubs which may also include grass and forbs plantings.

Benefits that conservation buffers provide to us include:  

  • protecting soil resources
  • improving air and water quality
  • enhancing fish and wildlife habitat
  • beautifying the landscape. 

In addition, buffers offer landowners an array of economic opportunities including protection and enhancement of existing enterprises.

Learn more

  • Conservation BuffersUSDA -- Resources for planning and designing buffers in rural and urban landscapes, including access to the 100-page Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors, and Greenways, and a literature review listing 1400 publications.
  • Vegetative Buffer ZonesUniversity of Minnesota Sustainable Urban Landscapes Series (SULIS) -- Shoreline Protection from direct impacts to lakes and streams from shoreland landscapes.

Riparian Forest Buffers


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