The unnamed tributary. That little creek, or seep, or spring, or bog, or wetland without a name begins its life as surface water when it emerges from the ground. Most streams don’t have a name. In fact, about 60 percent of all streams are unnamed. I’ll bet you know of...
Virginia legislators and its governor are proposing a cattle exclusion mandate from all perennial streams by July 1, 2026.
Shepherdstown, WV: It used to be part of Virginia before our war against slavery. I’m here, standing on the southern bank of the Potomac River looking at the large windows and columns of the mansion of Ferry Hill Plantation on the northern, Maryland side of the river. I’m mesmerized, staring...
The Ash tree is one of the most important riparian plants in North America. In Eastern North America there are, or were, three common species in the Fraxinus genus, the White, Green, and Black Ash. In the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Green Ash is one of the most prolific trees along...
Breaking the barrier: Ideas for increasing participation in voluntary livestock stream exclusion Livestock exclusion from streams? Is it time for the big R—regulation? Livestock, especially cattle, are the number one polluter of streams in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. They destroy the aquatic ecosystem by dislodging soil, trampling the streambed,...
Walk Along Middle River in Swoope—June 4, 10 ’till noon Come walk along the Middle River with Virginia Senator Emmett Hanger and ninth-generation farmer Jeanne Trimble Hoffman on her farm in Swoope, Virginia. Middle River is a tributary of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River—headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay....
Happy Earth Day! Today the pastures of Swoope are a brilliant, emerald-green. I can see forever north with the Allegheny Mountains to the west and white puffy clouds with flat bottoms overhead. The sight fills me with wonder. We have so much to be thankful for, in the stewardship of the...
Note: This post transformed into an op-ed piece that the Washington Post published in the Sunday print edition on April 14, 2019, and the online edition on April 12. WOTUS stands for Waters of the United States. When Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, it gave the Environmental...
There is so much to be thankful for this year. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled again in our favor against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, citing The Lorax, written in 1971 by Dr. Suess. This ruling and The Lorax made national news. Rare birds stopped by Swoope on...
“If you want to understand the perspective of a dedicated cattle farmer, educated ecologist, and water-quality specialist, this is the book for you!
Turn these pages and feel the frost on your nose in winter, hear quail calling in the spring, taste a homegrown tomato in the summer, and watch Monarch butterflies fuel up on nectar in the fall. . . . truly spectacular stuff!”
George Ohrstrom IIFounder, The Downstream Project
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