Photo of a streamside management area: SMZ are uncommonly valuable areas that need protection.

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2. Streamside Management Zones* (SMZs)

*Note: BMPs outlined below are examples. Check with the appropriate state agency to determine applicable BMPs in your area.

Streamside management zones (SMZs) are buffer strips of a width specified in state BMPs, consisting of the existing native vegetation communities along the stream corridor. SMZs serve many important functions, and are of special importance in controlling and filtering sediment from silvicultural operations, sustaining wildlife and fish populations, and maintaining water quality. The SMZ not only acts as a buffer between land activities and sensitive aquatic ecosystems, but it also usually supports high biodiversity, valuable habitat, and multiple recreational uses. The vegetation in the SMZ serves as filter material to reduce pollutants entering the stream. Streamside forests are a source of large woody debris for fish habitat. The shade provided by streamside trees is important in maintaining the natural temperature of the water which impacts aquatic habitat. These areas also function as travel corridors, provide food and protection, and nesting sites for wildlife. These zones are also called protective strips, filter and shade strips, and buffers.

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Section 11 of 38