"Keeping the cattle off the water will allow the land to heal itself."

During its 319 grant, ERWIA partnered with the McDonald County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD)  for the Indian Creek Ag NPS SALT (Special Area Land Treatment) project. This SALT project implemented 24 agricultural best-management practices (BMPs) covering 1,292 acres. These BMPs included Stream Protection (76 acres), Nutrient Management (555 acres), Use Exclusion (111 acres), Riparian Forest Buffers (4 acres), Composting Facilities (40 acres) and Poultry Waste Management (506 acres). These pictures show landowner Harold Melton pointing to where his cattle used to be able to get to the Elk River before fencing off the herd from the stream. "When I bought the place in 1980, the only source of water was the river," Melton said. "Keeping the cattle off the water will allow the land to heal itself. The cattle eat any forage they have access to. They eat all the grass and cause the banks to erode." According to Heath Cobine, with the SWCD, "The foremost thing is getting livestock out of the rivers, but a secondary befit is that it will help reduce erosion by allowing trees and grasses to grow along the bank. Also, the trees will provide shade which cools the water and increases the dissolved oxygen." (source of quotes: Rick Peck, McDonald County Press)