When Ed Farner received a postcard from TU, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Nature Conservancy offering help with stream restoration, he did what most of his neighbors on Yellow Breeches Creek chose not to: He called us.
A year and a half later, the Cumberland Valley chapter of TU was installing rock and log structures in Farner’s stretch of this famous Pennsylvania limestoner to improve fish habitat and stabilize severely eroding streambanks. The in-stream work was finished on Tuesday, Aug. 25. A shrub planting is planned for the fall.
As with most good restoration projects, partnering with the right people was key to its success. A grant from the Coldwater Heritage Partnership paid for supplies and equipment. The restoration pros at the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission designed the project and oversaw permitting and construction. Gleim Environmental Group’s stellar equipment operators expertly maneuvered stone and logs for TU volunteers to pin in place with rebar.
But the landowner deserves a special commendation here, for having the courage to call us and for continuing a longstanding commitment to let the public fish from his property.
Ed would be the first to tell you he didn't agree to this project purely out of the kindness of his heart—streambank erosion was threatening to undermine the porch from which he sits to watch wild brown trout rise, and just like any angler he’s all for making the fishing better, particularly in his backyard. But for years he's graciously made his property available to the general public for fishing. With this project he makes that arrangement more official through a 10-year agreement with the Fish and Boat Commission, the first of a new iteration of access agreements the Commission is using to secure fishing rights for anglers of all stripes.
While it’s disappointing that more landowners didn’t respond to the postcard, I’m glad the wide net we cast brought in Ed. I know he’s pleased with our work. I hope he tells his neighbors.