The purpose of livestock exclusion is to prevent livestock from degrading streams. The installation of exclusion fencing or bridges to restrict the access of livestock to creeks is critical for maintaining and restoring the integrity of stream ecosystems. LEPS works closely with farmers to construct exclusion fencing, bridges and other exclusion features, such as watering holes.
Typically, LEPS contacts farmers whose properties have been identified by neighbours, local stewardship groups or stream survey crews as requiring restorative measures. Farmers who are willing and enthusiastic are assisted with the planning, design, materials and labour for fence construction. In return, most farmers donate machine time, labour or cash to the project.
Fencing designs vary depending on the site and requirements of the farmer, and the planning process is a cooperative effort requiring dedication and compromise from all parties involved. Some projects contain features that protect local wildlife, such as this example of a deer-friendly exclusion fence.
Once the fencing has been installed, replanting with native vegetation is often necessary to revitalize the riparian zone which will stabilize the banks, help filter pollutants, generate nutrients for the stream and provide shade for fish and other species.
LEPS uses clever recycling techniques to construct farm bridges that would
otherwise be quite costly. Bridges are built using old semi-trailer beds for a frames, and new wood for the deck. The bridges are able to hold farm vehicles, and save in labour and engineering costs.