Riparian Buffer Management – Control Invasives, Encourage Natives

As summer moves closer to autumn it seems there are more native plants in the various riparian buffers we have around the farm.  Butterfly weed, jewelweed, wingstem, purpletop, and many other plants are in bloom now.  However; there are many invasive, non-native plants in bloom as well. Invasive Species Control – Vital to Riparian Buffer […]

Fueling Stations for Monarchs – Swoope Almanac September 2016

I had to stop and smell the Marigolds, the native ones in our riparian buffers called Bur Marigolds.  As I was putting up a new solar fence charger for one of our livestock exclusion areas, I had to just stop to watch.  What froze me in my tracks was the sight of so many Monarch […]

Bobby’s Free ebook: Selling Riparian Forest Buffers

How do we accelerate the planting of riparian forest buffers? All the states in the Chespaeake Bay watershed are falling behind their targets for excluding livestock from streams and planting riparian forest buffers. I’ve spent a lifetime “getting more on the ground” and I want to share how we made it happen in the Shenandoah […]

Leaves from Native Trees – The Foundation of Freshwater Ecosystems (JMU Students)

Virginia Wildlife Magazine published my article “Fish Need Leaves” in their Jan/Feb 2015 issue.  More information about Virginia’s premier wildlife magazine can be found here: www.dgif.virginia.gov/virginia.wildlife Excluding livestock from streams is a first big step for agriculture in restoring water resources and complying with the law that the US Congress passed in 1972 – The Clean […]

Leaves from Native Trees – The Foundation of Freshwater Ecosystems

Virginia Wildlife Magazine published my article “Fish Need Leaves” in their Jan/Feb 2015 issue.  More information about Virginia’s premier wildlife magazine can be found here: www.dgif.virginia.gov/virginia.wildlife Excluding livestock from streams is a first big step for agriculture in restoring water resources and complying with the law that the US Congress passed in 1972 – The Clean […]

Swoope Almanac May 2014

May fills my senses as I walk our “river field”.  Life’s energy surges this time of year.   The avian migration is at its peak.  All the birds that want to be here have arrived except for the Dickcissels.  They will arrive when the peonies and day lilies open. The cool nights and warm days […]

American Sycamore – Fortress of the Stream Bank

One of eastern North America’s greatest native trees is the American Sycamore, Platanus occidentals.  Perhaps the most endearing feature of this legendary tree is its bark, especially in winter when the white bark, mottled with green and brown is fully exposed. These trees often exceed a hundred feet in height and stand guard along streams like […]

This is What a Well Functioning Riparian Buffer Looks Like

There are many definitions of riparian buffer.  In this post and the video linked here we offer the elements of a well functioning buffer and show what they look like.  Riparian buffers are one of the most effective Best Management Practices to abate non-point source water pollution.  The word “riparian” comes from Latin and means “adjacent to […]

Native Plants Can Be Invasive

I finally found a plant that will take over tall fescue – wingstem, but I’m not sure I like it.  Let me explain. Both plants are invasive, tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is a non-native invasive plant; wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) is a native plant that is invasive. What is an invasive plant?  One definition is “any […]

Planting and Growing a Successful Riparian Forest Buffer

I have been involved with over 500 miles of riparian buffer plantings and have witnessed plenty of failures and successes.  I would like to share with you what I believe is the recipe for success, that being TREE CANOPY CLOSURE IN TEN YEARS. I’ll get right to the point then provide details. First of all […]