Riparian area planning and management is a major national issues today--something that should have been the case a century ago. A century of additive effects of land use has resulted in major impacts on many riparian stream habitats and their fisheries, wildlife, and domestic livestock use. Before scientists can evaluate the influences of various land and water uses on riparian environments, they must first understand these environments. This means being able to detect and measure with confidence the natural and artificial variation and instantaneous conditions of the riparian habitat. These conditions must then be related to the production capability of riparian habitat and any extraneous factors affecting this production potential.