Loudoun Responds – Supporting Clean Streams

Paddocks keep livestock and waste out of our creeks

Paddocks keep livestock and waste out of our creeks

The former Secretary of State Madeline Albright has said that what oil was to the last century, water will be to this century, in terms of quality and sufficiency.

We focus on the “nutrients,” the waste that flows into our rivers and streams, and then the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay.

On the other hand, we struggle to avoid and stem erosion, as it takes a thousand years to make rich top soil, so it’s nothing to waste.

Virginia has devoted a million dollars to Loudoun County to underwrite voluntary efforts by farmers and landowners to follow best management practices (BMPs) to keep the water clear and the soil rich close to home.

Days ago, at the last monthly meeting of the Loudoun County Soil and Conservation District, the Board authorized $580 thousand dollars to underwrite the cost of best management practices (BMPs) for Loudoun County farmers and landowners.

The funds approved will pay for thousands of feet of fencing (to keep livestock out of streams), troughs so the livestock can get water in the fields and pastures they inhabit, acres of grass, wells, thousands of feet of pipes for water and electricity, vaults, and stream bank protection, and buffers to protect the soil against erosion.

The local Soil and Conservation District still has about $420 thousand dollars for more best practices projects – and the District is reaching out for landowners and farmers who could use some help to make it happen.

This program is the Loudoun Soil and Water District’s “cost share program.”

In some cases, because of changing rules this year, the District may be able to underwrite landowners and farmers for 100% of the cost for these practices.

There are experts who work at this in the various districts to assure the effectiveness of the program and Loudoun not only has a diverse staff of experts in this science of agriculture but those who have the experience of visiting and studying properties all over Loudoun County.

Landowners and farmers should consider whether they are suitable candidates for these cost share programs.

The District had the applications it did because local outlets let the public know these programs were available.

If a landowner or farmer wants more information, may have a situation that could benefit from BMPs, they should visit LSWCD.org or call Loudoun’s Soil and Water Conservation District at 571-918-4530.

[John Flannery is the Director and Treasurer, Loudoun County Soil and Water Conservation District]