Why do farmers fence their livestock from ponds, streams, and wetlands? Of the hundreds of farmers I have talked to that have done it these are the top four reasons: 1. They need more water and better water distribution over the farm. 2. To improve herd health and reduce bio-security...
Deborah Huso, Free Lance Writer for the Progressive Farmer Magazine called me back in July. "I'd like to do a story on stream fencing, the Farm Bill and conservation. Do you have any farmers in mind that I could interview", she said. This was music to my ears. I didn't...
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...
“Well-managed” farmland and other working "open-spaces" should not be taxed when they provide ecosystem services exceeding the cost of public services for the land. In many states including Virginia, local governments have a special way of collecting revenue from their constituents that have farmland or “open-space” called “land-use” taxation. It’s a...
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...
I’m standing in the middle of the footbridge across the Potomac River at Harper’s Ferry looking downstream. Beneath me flows the nation’s river that at this point in its journey, drained six million acres of land. Just downstream to my right the waters from another two million acres join the...
I recently attended a "Stream and Buffer Ecology Workshop" at the Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, Pennsylvania. Stroud is a world-class research facility for fresh water science. This year their “Moorhead Environmental Complex” was awarded a “Platinum LEED” rating, which is the nation’s highest certification for green construction. The Stroud...
Here in Swoope, it's been raining for three days - we've had 10.5 inches of rain. Our Middle River has been out in its floodplain for the third day in a row. Flood waters have completely covered much of our pasture and our single strand of electric fence that...
A watershed moment for the Shenandoah River and the Chesapeake Bay occurred on Tuesday the 23rd of April. Ownership of the former Virginia National Golf Course located on the banks of the Shenandoah River in Clark County was handed over to Shenandoah University . Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons, President of the University said...
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation asked me to write several articles about farmers doing their part to improve the soil and water resources on their farms. These articles are designed to showcase how and why, these farmers installed Best Management Practices such as “stream-side fencing” to exclude livestock from streams. The...
“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
Blog Post Categories
- Atlantic Coast Pipeline
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- Climate Change
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- Riparian Forest Buffers Ebook
- Soil and Water Conservation
- Soil Erosion
- Stream Fencing
- Student Required Reading
- Swoope Almanac
- Water Pollution
- Watershed restoration