March 5, 2019 Climate Beneficial Wool (Part 3): Healthy Riparian Ecosystems Having previously covered the importance of composting and prescriptive grazing, let’s take a look at how maintaining a healthy riparian ecosystem plays a crucial role in creating climate beneficial wool. Ditches, creeks, rivers, and streams — these waterways are vital components in the process of carbon sequestration. More than just providing passage for water, they keep the soil stable and filter unwanted sedimentation and pollutants found in surface runoff. The plants growing on their banks provide shade for aquatic animals and also cool the water temperature. Their meandering curves actually slow the speed of the current, thus diminishing soil erosion and strengthening sidebanks. These healthy waterways are hotspots of biodiversity that pull carbon out of the atmosphere and sequester it back into the soil of its banks. They also provide critical habitats for fish and wildlife. In the grasslands where sheep graze, they keep the fields from eroding and provide healthy ecosystems that supply the vegetation feeding the sheep. Managing these waterways by keeping them clear and clean not only significantly increases the yield of the grasslands themselves, but the biosphere that operates from its banks and out into the fields. Healthy riparian ecosystems require complex coordination, from the insects buzzing around its banks all the way down to the worms in the soil. And when you have a stream that helps pull carbon back into the soil of its banks, you have sheep who, by grazing on the land, help produce climate beneficial wool.