West Virginia Fencing Project
TU is working to protect streams across West Virginia. Working throughout the state, TU has installed high-quality electric fencing, assisting farmers in keeping livestock out of streams. As a result, streambanks and wetlands are protected, streams are shaded, riparian forests are restored and upland forests are recovered, all in the name of greatly improving habitat for fish and wildlife.
Working throughout the state, TU, along with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (USFWS PFW) is partnering with local landowners, non-profits and state and federal agencies in West Virginia to restore streams affected by agricultural pressure and reconnect fragmented areas while protecting key streams. We're working in headwaters regions as well as main stem sections of larger rivers.
Partnering with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, TU and the USFWS have a full-time fence crew dedicated to restoring streamside vegetation in West Virginia. Much of this work is accomplished on private agricultural lands and includes the installation of livestock exclusion fence, riparian plantings, alternative water sources and fish-friendly stream crossings.
By improving stream quality in these places, streams are healthier for trout and fishing opportunities are increased. Fish can move freely between spawning, rearing and refuge habitats.
Private landowners benefit from federal funding for the work through the Farm Bill, administered through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. TU works with willing landowners to find programs to fund on the ground conservation practices that benefit both the sustainability of the farm as well as the fish and wildlife. Historically, this partnership has provided quality conservation practices at little to no cost to landowners.
Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Trout Unlimited (TU) and our partners have installed more than one million feet of agricultural fencing throughout West Virginia to help over 200 farmers keep livestock out of streams, greatly improving habitat for fish and wildlife.