Completed Projects of the Toe River Watershed Partnership
The Toe River Watershed Partnership, formerly Toe River Valley Watch (TRVW), has partnered with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Mitchell and Yancey County Soil and Water Districts working to help preserve the rich, rural heritage of the Western North Carolina mountains.
In the spring of 2007, the old Kona train trestle was vandalized and burned, causing it to collapse into the North Toe River. TRVW was instrumental in getting the trestle, which had to be cut up and removed in pieces by helicopter, from the River.
With our partners we also completed the removal of the Spruce Pine dam, a dilapidated, concrete structure that was the site of the tragic, accidental drowning of attorney John Peterson in the 1980’s. The dam’s removal opened up a safer passage of the river by boaters, anglers, and other recreational users, and allowed fish to pass upstream.
We have partnered with the Mitchell and Yancey Soil and Water Conservation Districts to enhance water quality within farmland by providing matching funds for the voluntary Agriculture Cost Share/EQIP program. This provides technical and financial assistance to farmers to keep livestock out of creeks. Livestock are known to ipact streamside plants through trampling, which in turn causes stream banks to erode, resulting in loss of farmland and impacts the aquatic habitat. Streamside vegetation both prevents land loss and helps to shade streams, and our trout and other native aquatic species rely on cool, clear water streams for survival.
We worked with partners to construct a kiosk at Riverside Park in Spruce Pine that provides information to visitors about the Toe River Canoe Trail and aquatic animals that rely on the North Toe River and its tributaries. At the Yancey County Recreational Park, we constructed walking trails along the Cane River. We will continue to enhance and improve these extraordinary river parks for the benefit of the community.