Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Farm Bill conservation practice (BMP) efficacy in mitigating livestock impacts in the Copper Creek watershed


May 2018 - November 2019


This project complements ongoing BMP analysis in the Copper Creek drainage (CCD) to assess the collective outcomes of conservation work by several agencies. The project focuses on developing spatially explicit models to explain and predict how watershed features, including BMPs, interact to influence upland sediment dynamics and instream benthic habitat conditions. This work will inform conservation planning for hellbender, fishes, and mussels by providing baseline data, validating protocols for water quality monitoring, and helping to prioritize implementation of future BMPs to benefit imperiled aquatic species. The project is a collaboration among USGS, USFWS, NRCS, and Virginia Tech.
1) Summarize available water quality data;
2) Complete our geomorphology dataset on channel topography;
3) Identify optimal locations for BMP implementation;
4) Test scenarios of BMP investment.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 10

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 13

Scientific Publications: 72

Presentations: 118



Funding Agencies

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service


Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  2. U.S. Geological Survey
  3. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
  4. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  5. Wildlife Management Institute