Blue River Headwaters
Vision for a Healthy Action Area
Native-grassland with intermittent tree populations and a healthy network of ephemeral streams. The ease with which these grasslands and ephemeral streams can be developed necessitates the conservation of headwater land.
Champions: The Nature Conservancy, KS; The Conservation Fund, Kansas Land Trust, Heartland Conservation Alliance
Keystone Ecosystems/Habitats: Ephemeral Streams
Focal Species: Plains Leopard Frog
Land acquisition and conservation easement
Johnson County Stormwater protection
Riparian restoration/invasive species removal
Clean dumping grounds
Development of ephemeral streams, and stream buffer.
About the Blue River Headwaters
Ephemeral streams are ones that do not experience water flow year-round. They are typically shallow and experience flowing water for brief periods in response to rainfall, snowmelt, and other precipitation. Ephemeral streams are typically found in the headwaters of permanent streams and are integral to the overall function and health of a watershed. They dissipate energy during high-flow periods, they help to recharge and discharge ground-water, they help prevent erosion, and they create wildlife habitat.
In rapidly developing areas, land management decisions often don’t recognize the important functions served by ephemeral streams, which can look empty or dry to those not aware of their important function.