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Excluding Livestock Protects Potomac River
Northeast Region, August 1, 2008
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Fencing along stream, Rich Mason USFWS
Fencing along stream, Rich Mason USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a

Several projects have evolved to keep livestock off out of streams and off of sensitive stream banks. Two properties along Cresap Mill Run a tributary to the North Branch of the Potomac River were fenced. On the first property, 1,600 feet of stream were protected by installing livestock exclusion fence. A semi intact forest/shrub buffer already existed along the stream but was damaged livestock. The second Cresap Mill Run fencing project protected 3,600 feet of stream bank. Sparse tree and shrubs currently exist there and will naturally regenerate into a fully functioning buffer.

 

Excluding the farm animals will allow fully functioning buffers to evolve, provide a travel corridor for migratory birds and other wildlife, and reduce sediment and nutrient runoff.

 

A third project along the North Branch of the Potomac River will restore 8,700 feet of riparian buffer. The existing stream banks and floodplain had been impacted by livestock. Natural regeneration of the herb and understory layer in the forest is already evident. In addition, the farmer has started a rotational grazing program which should enhance the ecology of the area but also improve farming operations.

 

These projects would not be possible without the innovation of its partners. Fencing materials were paid for through a grant by Fish America and the fencing, by Allegany Soil Conservation District, was made possible though funding from Natural Resource Conservation District. Other partners included the Maryland State Department of Agriculture and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

For more information contact:

Rich Mason

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Chesapeake Bay Field Office

177 Admiral Cochrane Dr.

Annapolis, MD 21401

rich_mason@fws.gov


Contact Info: Kathryn Reshetiloff, 410-573-4582, kathryn_reshetiloff@fws.gov



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