We worked with the Nature Conservancy of Alabama to help protect the Paint Rock River

My friends sometimes tire of hearing me talk about the wonders of the Paint Rock Valley. It is one of the best examples of why I believe that Alabama is the last great undiscovered place in America. Maybe that isolation offsets some of the suffering of “The Reconstruction.” (If you don’t know what that phrase means then sue your history teachers.)

We have been members of The Nature Conservancy for years. It was a real joy for us when they focused their attention on helping our farm do its part to preserve the Paint Rock River. Our farm is bounded on the east from its northern border to the southern tip by the Larkin Fork. The Larkin Fork and the Estill Fork are the two major tributaries that form the Paint Rock River.

In order to preserve the unique life that this river maintains, the Nature Conservancy helps to fund projects that promote riparian buffers along the creek banks.

They really are very smart in how they do it. It would be naive and presumptuous to say to people who farm along the river “You need to keep your cows out of the creek.”

For generations these creeks served the small herds that lived in the valley. But with population densities and road construction, the river could easily become just another drainage ditch for agriculture runoff without their efforts.

By helping farms fence the cows out the creek, dig wells and plant trees along the buffer, they benefit the farm and the creek.

We are grateful for their help want to especially thank Doug Fears at the Nature Conservancy for his efforts. By the way, we also talked to the U.S. Government and their offer was antithetical to an Organic Farming situation. Score one for the tree-huggers!

Here are few of the things we accomplished.

M.C. Selvage struck water for our new well at 31 feet. It is clean, sulfur free, cool and tasty. The cows like it, too.

Nature Conservancy Alabama Well

M.C. Selvange Drills Well

We fenced the Larkin Fork up and down the farm.

Riparian Buffer Fence

Riparian Buffer Fence

And we installed three automated drinking stations for the cows.


Watering Station

Of course, now they want to know why the hay doesn’t get delivered daily by a robot.

There’s just no pleasing some bovines!

John Langlois

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