Uvas Creek flows east through this canyon from the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains into an intermontane valley. Being located in a publicly owned mountain park, it will be protected into the foreseeable future.
Man's impact on the riparian (creeks, rivers, etc.) environment is frequently less benign. On nearby ranches, unfettered cattle wander into streams devastating the riparian vegetation and turning clear water into muddy torrents after winter rains. In more urban areas, streams are squeezed into pipes or channeled into concrete troughs to maximize developable land. The result is a barren natural environment and an arid urban landscape. Riparian approaches for maximizing ecological diversity and urban delight are suggested below.
Protected Riparian Corridors
The most obvious approach is to do it right in the first place. When exploiting natural resources or developing land along streams, protect an adequate riparian corridor where the natural environment will be preserved or restored (in the case of redevelopment of previously urbanized lands).
In order to assure equal impact and opportunity for all landowners, such preservation or restoration will need to be required for a development permit. Otherwise, certain landowners will opt for development up to or beyond the stream bank, leaving future flooding costs for subsequent landowners, neighboring residents and the broader community.