Get the Cattle Out Campaign

Latest Updates

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, […]

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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 […]

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Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Mid-Term Report: More Work Needs to Be Done

The Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Mid-Term Report came out on July 27 — lots of scientific jargon, but the bottom line is that the region only achieved about 40 percent of its nitrogen reduction through the end of last year. I certainly care about the Chesapeake Bay, but my day to day dedication is about the […]

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Shenandoah Riverkeeper Files Lawsuit Over Algae in the Shenandoah

We’ve been dealing with excessive algae blooms throughout the river ever since a massive fish kill occurred in 2005. That event spawned Virginia’s Fish Kill Task Force to study the problem. The Task Force discovered many things. None of them good. They discovered male fish with female parts, known as intersex fish. They discovered fish […]

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Press Release

EPA Fails to Protect the Shenandoah River

Local groups challenge EPA’s approval of Virginia’s decision to not list the Shenandoah as ‘impaired,’ despite excessive algae blooms and nutrient pollution Front Royal, VA — Today, four local citizen groups filed a lawsuit filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the agency’s repeated failure to address the Shenandoah River’s increasing problem with […]

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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.