Close your eyes and imagine a river. You are probably picturing a single channel, snaking across the landscape. While many streams follow this general form, it is unclear if this is the result of natural or human-driven processes. Research by Walter and Merritts1 presents an entirely new notion: that many small streams in the eastern U.S. follow this common form because of a history of human development. In actuality, these streams should have multiple small channels, crisscrossing within a valley wetland.