CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A 1.25-mile stretch of Gandy Creek and its headwater tributary streams in Randolph County will be protected through a $300,000 Environmental Protection Agency grant to American Rivers for work on The Nature Conservancy's Gandy Ranch Project.
The project involves building fence to keep cattle out of the Gandy Creek headwaters area within the 455-acre Gandy Ranch area, which lies between the Monongahela National Forest's Laurel Fork Wilderness Area and the Seneca Rocks-Spruce Knob Recreation Area. Eroding stream banks will be stabilized and fish habitat improvement structures will be installed through the grant.
The grant will help The Nature Conservancy restore and reconnect red spruce and northern hardwood forests in the Gandy Ranch area through tree-planting and invasive species removal. The property's landowner, Steve Callen, has agreed to permanently protect the Gandy Ranch area through a conservation easement, a legal agreement that restricts future use.
"This grant allows American Rivers to not only have a tremendous impact on the health of the region's rivers and clean water, but also on economic prosperity and quality of life," said Chris Williams, senior vice president for conservation at American Rivers. "We congratulate The Nature Conservancy and partners on their hard work and innovative ideas, and we look forward to seeing the many benefits to clean water and people."
Other groups involved in the project include Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Forest Service, the Mountain Institute and the Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative.