West Virginia’s Potomac Headwaters Home Rivers Initiative
Partners: Trout Unlimited, USDA Farm Service Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and West Virginia Conservation Agency
Location: Upper North Fork South Branch Potomac River, West Virginia
The need: High elevations and Project Spotlight productive karst geology in the area provide some of the best opportunities for preserving resilient strongholds of brook trout and supporting a
sustainable recreation economy with a destination fishery.
- In the Potomac headwaters, Trout Unlimited and partners are working to improve in-stream aquatic habitat, watershed hydrology, and flood resiliency; remove barriers to aquatic organism passage; and improve water quality working with communities and landowners
- To date, partners have leveraged $3.2 million to restore 400 acres of habitat, install 12 miles of agricultural exclusion fencing, stabilize 3.5 miles of eroding stream banks using natural stream channel design, restore 20 miles of in-stream habitat across both public and private lands, and engage 2,000 local residents and volunteers in conservation stewardship activities
- This watershed-scale restoration initiative works seamlessly between public and private lands, from the top of the watershed downstream, building and expanding hubs of conservation to achieve meaningful ecological improvement and bolster local economies