Protecting Riparian Areas on the 
Kerr Ranch 
1998-present
•This shot from May 1973 is the earliest photo of 
the Nurse Cow area. The riparian area has been 
cleared of timber and s...
•March 1998: Fence is being installed. Power pole 
in upper right corner of image is used as a 
reference point. 
• Livest...
•April 2001: Lower low water crossing, looking 
upstream, after fencing. Forage growth increases 
rapidly in April.
•May 2001: Downstream crossing, looking 
upstream. Fencing has been in place for two years. 
Grasses have established on t...
•March 2002: Four years after fencing. Compared 
to the 1998 picture, vegetation covers the stream 
banks.
•March 2003: Good vegetative cover protects the 
stream banks.
•July 2003: The trees planted in previous years are 
finally visible above the surrounding vegetation.
•April 2009: Eleven 
years after fencing.
2013, summer: 15 years after fencing 
Note the telephone pole is dwarfed by trees.
•Since fencing, 
both planted 
and volunteer 
trees have 
become 
abundant, 
stabilizing the 
stream banks by 
holding soi...
•Thick grass covers 
the stream banks 
and protects them 
from erosion.
•Young trees and 
shrubs slow down 
water flow and 
catch leaves and 
twigs, enriching the 
soil with organic 
matter.
•Planted tree 
species include 
green ash and 
hackberry, both 
native to the area. 
Volunteer species 
include willow and...
Green Ash
Hackberry 
• Birds eat the berries 
• Host plant for many 
butterflies 
– Tawny Emperor 
– Hackberry Emperor 
– American S...
“Volunteer” native trees 
Winged elm Willow
•Since the cattle 
have been fenced 
out, the stream has 
become narrower 
and deeper, and 
meanders. These 
changes creat...
•The riparian area 
serves as a 
protective travel 
corridor for deer 
and other wildlife, 
and is home to 
many species o...
•A single strand of 
electric fence is 
enough to keep 
cattle out of the 
riparian area.
•Lush grass and tree growth are also evident in the 
fenced areas looking downstream from the low 
water crossing.
Summer view, downstream
•Contrast this 
unfenced section of 
the stream with the 
fenced riparian 
area: many fewer 
trees, and a 
broader, shallo...
For more information contact: 
David Redhage, project manager 
dredhage@kerrcenter.com
Conservation Buffer Strips
Conservation Buffer Strips
Conservation Buffer Strips
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Conservation Buffer Strips

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Conservation Buffer Strips

  1. 1. Protecting Riparian Areas on the Kerr Ranch 1998-present
  2. 2. •This shot from May 1973 is the earliest photo of the Nurse Cow area. The riparian area has been cleared of timber and seeded to grass. Typical riparian areas in Leflore County are timbered.
  3. 3. •March 1998: Fence is being installed. Power pole in upper right corner of image is used as a reference point. • Livestock cross on the upstream side of the low water crossing, causing bare slopes with little vegetation.
  4. 4. •April 2001: Lower low water crossing, looking upstream, after fencing. Forage growth increases rapidly in April.
  5. 5. •May 2001: Downstream crossing, looking upstream. Fencing has been in place for two years. Grasses have established on the slopes of the stream. •Trees were planted on the banks during the previous two years, but are not yet visible. Grass is laid over due to a recent high water event.
  6. 6. •March 2002: Four years after fencing. Compared to the 1998 picture, vegetation covers the stream banks.
  7. 7. •March 2003: Good vegetative cover protects the stream banks.
  8. 8. •July 2003: The trees planted in previous years are finally visible above the surrounding vegetation.
  9. 9. •April 2009: Eleven years after fencing.
  10. 10. 2013, summer: 15 years after fencing Note the telephone pole is dwarfed by trees.
  11. 11. •Since fencing, both planted and volunteer trees have become abundant, stabilizing the stream banks by holding soil in place.
  12. 12. •Thick grass covers the stream banks and protects them from erosion.
  13. 13. •Young trees and shrubs slow down water flow and catch leaves and twigs, enriching the soil with organic matter.
  14. 14. •Planted tree species include green ash and hackberry, both native to the area. Volunteer species include willow and winged elm.
  15. 15. Green Ash
  16. 16. Hackberry • Birds eat the berries • Host plant for many butterflies – Tawny Emperor – Hackberry Emperor – American Snout – Question Mark – Mourning Cloak
  17. 17. “Volunteer” native trees Winged elm Willow
  18. 18. •Since the cattle have been fenced out, the stream has become narrower and deeper, and meanders. These changes create a more hospitable environment for water insects and fish.
  19. 19. •The riparian area serves as a protective travel corridor for deer and other wildlife, and is home to many species of songbirds and insects.
  20. 20. •A single strand of electric fence is enough to keep cattle out of the riparian area.
  21. 21. •Lush grass and tree growth are also evident in the fenced areas looking downstream from the low water crossing.
  22. 22. Summer view, downstream
  23. 23. •Contrast this unfenced section of the stream with the fenced riparian area: many fewer trees, and a broader, shallower stream, less hospitable to aquatic life.
  24. 24. For more information contact: David Redhage, project manager dredhage@kerrcenter.com

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