Water is Life In North Fork

In the Catawba Valley, just 10 minutes or so from Blacksburg, a federally endangered species of fish, the Roanoke logperch, is getting some much-needed help.

The New River Land Trust (NRLT) is partnering with local landowners, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), the Skyline Soil & Water Conservation District, and the Canaan Valley Institute to implement restoration, improvement, and protection activities in the North Fork of the Roanoke River (NFRR) watershed. The goal is to improve water quality in the NFRR with an emphasis on the habitat of the Roanoke logperch. The work is intended to reduce erosion, sediment, and pollution that comes from diffuse sources such as agricultural and residential runoff.

The NFRR watershed is a beautiful landscape with high conservation value as recognized by its designation as a National Rural Historic District and a Special Projects Area state conservation site. The Sutphin and Gregg properties are the focus of the work right now but the NRLT and the project partners are actively seeking landowners and funding for future projects.

North Fork of the Roanoke River watershed in the Catawba Valley  Photo: Michael Carnrike

The project is funded by the Virginia Environmental Endowment’s Community Conservation Grant Program with additional support from the USFWS and DWR.