Get the Cattle Out Campaign

Latest Updates

It’s Budget Time in Virginia — Let the General Assembly Know That Funding Clean Water Must be a Priority!

Dear Friend, It’s Budget Time in Virginia — Let the General Assembly Know That Funding Clean Water Must be a Priority! Dollars can move mountains or better yet, protect our rivers and streams. We have a unique opportunity this year to see meaningful increases in natural resource funding, thanks to the budget proposed by Gov. Northam. […]

cattle in the shenandoah

Respect the Shenandoah

The Shenandoah River is near and dear to the hearts of all those who grew up in the Shenandoah Valley as I did. It is a beautiful river, a great fishing river, and great river for paddling, rafting, and inner tubing. I enjoyed many of those pastimes in my youth, but I stopped going to […]

MARK FRONDORF

Help Shenandoah Riverkeeper Pass a Law to Keep Cattle out of Our River!

This Wednesday, January 29, a key House Committee in the Virginia legislature will consider  HB 1422, a bill that sets a 2025 deadline to fence cattle out of waterways and requires state funding to ensure farmers can afford it. Unfenced cattle destroy streambanks and valuable riparian buffers, and directly “deposit” manure and bacteria into the […]

Comments to 2018 Virginia Water Quality Assessment Integrated Report

We are continuing our fight to force the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to fulfill its duty to identify the North Fork, South Fork, and main stem of the Shenandoah River (collectively, “Shenandoah River”) as impaired (Category 5) due to widespread algae blooms fueled by uncontrolled or poorly-controlled pollutants including nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment, […]

Potomac Riverkeeper Network and Shenandoah Riverkeeper Comments on DEQ Draft Water Quality Assessment Guidance Manual

Read the comments on behalf of Potomac Riverkeeper Network and Shenandoah Riverkeeper (“Commenters”) regarding the above-referenced Guidance Manual. Commenters appreciate the opportunity to provide our perspective on the adequacy and applicability of the manual to assessing persistent pollution problems in the Shenandoah River watershed which continue to negatively affect and impair the public’s ability to […]


CAMPAIGN INFORMATION:


Shenandoah Riverkeeper has identified 73 herds of cattle with direct access to the North Fork, South Fork, and mainstem Shenandoah River. A seemingly harmless or even healthy activity for the animals, cattle with direct river access cause tremendous damage to river banks and overall river health.

When cows enter the river their sharp hooves disturb sediment, upsetting delicate ecosystems. Once in the water, they deposit their waste directly into the river, posing serious health risks for thousands of recreational users downstream. Veterinarians also report that river water can actually pose health risks for the animal as well, versus clean drinking supplies from well or spring water.

We have sent five rounds of letter to landowners of the 73 herds of cattle with access to the Shenandoah River. Roughly 36 landowners have fenced their cattle out or made other changes to practices eliminating problems associated with cattle access.

Goal: 100% Cattle Exclusion. To create a cattle free Shenandoah, we work directly with herd owners and the State of Virginia to support fencing projects and cost share programs.