The Nature Conservancy in Alabama is working with landowners on Guess Creek to implement Best Management Practices to bring water parameters for the stream within state water quality standards. This project was made possible by funding provided by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) through a Clean Water Act Section 319(h) nonpoint source grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 4.
Guess Creek is a small Jackson County headwater stream that begins just south of Highway 146 in Skyline Management Area, south of Hytop, Alabama and flows 11 miles until its confluence with the Paint Rock River. According to Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the State of Alabama has identified Guess Creek as being impaired by organic enrichment as reported in the 1996 and draft, 2004 303 (d) list of impaired waters. Major sources of organic enrichment often come from animal operations, runoff from pastures, and animals with access to streams.
Casey Sanders, a cattle farmer along Guess Creek, recently participated in the cost share program that provided financial assistance in installing 1,375 linear feet of cattle exclusionary fencing, several heavy use livestock feeding areas, one hardened livestock crossing and two livestock shade structures. The practices installed prevent or filter livestock waste runoff before entering the stream. Sanders also drilled a water-well as part of his contribution to the effort, since the program provided cost share for the installation of two freeze-proof watering troughs that are connected to the watering system.
“This is a good program,” Sanders said. “Any landowner along Guess Creek interested in being a good steward of the land should consider enrolling.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The Nature Conservancy in Alabama
205 251 1155, ext 107