The removal or diminishment of riparian forests for agricultural production has probably had the biggest impact on the overall ecology of Jocko River floodplains. But just stopping harmful agricultural activities will not always allow natural plant communities to reestablish. If other measures are not taken, the site can shift to one that supports non-natives, especially weeds.
Modify Harmful Practices
The first step should be to eliminate or modify the harmful land management practices (for example, the clearing of riparian brush, season-long or high intensity grazing, diversion of surface water for irrigation, draining of ground-water to dry out floodplain soils and logging). Then, if allowed, natural processes can promote the recovery of native riparian plants.
Promote Improved Ecological Conditions
Often, it takes more than just ending harmful practices. If native riparian vegetation is to return, managers will often have to promote a new set of ecological conditions, changing site factors such as water, light, nutrients, and soil conditions. Measures include implementing passive and some minimal active-restoration measures like controlling or eradicating noxious weed populations, enhancing soils with compost or wood mulch, reintroducing fire, adding woody debris, seeding, planting native plants, and managing pests.
If these passive and less-invasive active measures are not enough, more significant active measures may be called for. Those are explored in the next section.