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News Release

NRCS Awards 2013 Funding for Brook Trout Habitat Restoration Projects

 

Contact: Wade Biddix, NRCS - 804-287-1675 / Seth Coffman, TU, 540-333-0689

Richmond, February 20, 2013 – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has approved $47,000 in grant funding for ongoing partnership activities with Trout Unlimited (TU) to restore native brook trout habitat in priority springs within the Shenandoah Valley.

If you own land in the Briery Branch, Mossy Creek, Cedar Creek (Meadowbrook or Paddy Run), or Redbud Run watersheds, you are eligible to apply for this Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) funding to help improve water quality on your farm. Assistance is available for fencing, tree and shrub planting, livestock watering systems, stream bank stabilization, and other measures to reduce sediment and nutrient runoff into these waterways.

Though program signup is continuous, deadlines for upcoming ranking periods are March 15, April 19, and May 17, 2013.

"The impacts of earlier activities in these areas are now readily apparent with improved trout spawning grounds and reduced stream bank erosion,” says NRCS State Conservationist Jack Bricker. “As we enter our fourth year, I invite you to be part of this positive change by installing conservation practices to lower water temperatures and reduce stream sedimentation.”

TU’s annual monitoring of a 2010 stream restoration project in Rockingham County has shown a dramatic improvement in channel stability, particularly after major flood events. TU’s Shenandoah Coordinator, Seth Coffman, points out that riparian buffers with permanent vegetation are the key to stabilizing streams and improving trout habitat. 

“Adequate streamside buffers of grasses, shrubs, and trees are important not only for shade but also for holding the stream bank in place with a healthy root system for when it does flood,” adds Coffman. 

NRCS field staff will continue working with Coffman to provide technical and financial assistance for implementing these practices and evaluating their effectiveness. To learn more about CCPI for trout restoration in Augusta, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Frederick counties, contact your local NRCS office in Harrisonburg, Strasburg or Verona or visit the NRCS website at www.va.nrcs.usda.gov.