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.