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Rappahannock Friends and Lovers of Our Watershed

People, Land and Water at the
Headwaters of the
Rappahannock River Basin


[1] Please see www.rappflow.org for information about RappFLOW and reports from studies.

[2] See http://www.naturalresources.virginia.gov/Initiatives/WaterQuality/FinalizedTribStrats/rappahanock.pdf for the Chesapeake Bay Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Tributary Strategy for Rappahannock River Basin (March 2005).

[3] Stream miles and pond areas were calculated based on the National Hydrographic Dataset. The wetlands data are from the National Wetlands Inventory, and these areas overlap with the ponds data.

[4] See Section 9.1 for explanation of Impaired Streams.

[5] Winer, R., T. Brown and P. Sturm.  Bush River Watershed Management Plan.  Center for Watershed Protection, 8391 Main St. Ellicott City, MD 21043

[6] The Zoning Ordinance defines development as follows: “DEVELOPMENT — Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, the placement of mobile homes, streets and other paving, utilities, filling, grading, excavation, mining, dredging or drilling operations.”


[7] The watershed assessment methodology developed by the Center for Watershed Protection focuses on impermeable surfaces which make a watershed vulnerable.  We modified that methodology to focus on factors more applicable in this area.

[8] National Land Cover Classification System.

[9] National Land Cover Database, 2001.

[10]  “Riparian Buffer Width, Vegetative Cover, and Nitrogen Removal Effectiveness:

A Review of Current Science and Regulations” By Paul M. Mayer , Steven K. Reynolds, Jr. and Timothy J. Canfield. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory Ada, Oklahoma 74820


[11] Actually, the Mississippi River is the only tenth order stream in the U.S.  What the authors intend here is to emphasize that a very large river is made up of many smaller tributary streams.  The smallest streams (first and second and third order) are the type of streams in Rappahannock County.

[12] See note 10.


[13] “Watershed Vulnerability Analysis” by Jennifer Zielinski, Center for Watershed Protection.  January 2002.  Available as pdf download at http://www.cwp.org/Resource_Library/Center_Docs/USRM/Vulnerability_Analysis.pdf.


[14] The subwatersheds delineation was based on several factors, including topography, size of areas, and USGS Hydrologic Units (HUC). 

[15] In the subwatershed assessment model developed by the Center for Watershed Protection, called “Watershed Vulnerability Analysis”, the vulnerability of a subwatershed is based on the percentage of impervious land cover in the subwatershed.   Their method is typically used in situations where the watersheds are already compromised due to development, and the goal is to identify areas that can be restored to some extent.  Instead of this model, we devised an alternative approach, more suitable for rural headwaters watersheds, that looks at the factors that protect the subwatershed, and we call this the “Subwatershed Protection Analysis.”

[16] Currently the VOF is accepting easements on properties of 100 acres or larger.  Other agencies that accept smaller parcels in easement include the Virginia Department of Forestry (currently 50 acre minimum) and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (no minimum acreage, within an officially designated Historic District.)

[17] Residential zoning of one house per acre would result in an average impervious cover of about 14%, according to Cappiella & Brown (2001).  Less than 1% of the land area of the county is so zoned.

[18] VOF records as of May 8, 2008.

[19] The Upper North Fork has more points than the theoretical maximum, due to rounding in converting from percentages to protection points.  It lies about 96% in the SNP, and nearly 70% of its area outside the SNP is in conservation easement.

[20] The survey instrument and report on the results is available on the RappFLOW web site http://www.rappflow.org/PDF/highlights_upperthornton_survey_july2006.pdf

[22] See http://www.rappflow.org/rush-river/index.html for documents and news articles related to the Friends of the Rush.

[23] Added 1-7-2008

[24] Paradis, A., J. Elkinton,K. Hayhoe, and J. Buonaccorse.  2007.  Role of winter temperature and climate change on the survival and future range expansion of the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) in eastern North America.  Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.  Published online Oct. 11, 2007. www.springerlink.com/content/1381-2386

[26] “Guidelines for helping nonagricultural landowners” by Tim Bondelid.  2007.  Available at http://www.rappflow.org/PDF/Guidelines%20for%20NonAg%20Evaluation.pdf

[27] Report is available at http://www.rrregion.org/pdf/publications/environment/tmdl/development/TMDL%20Development%20-%20Rappahannock%20River%20Basin%202008.pdf


[28] Page 17 in “2007 State of the Forest” Virginia Department of Forestry.

[29] For more information contact Hal Hunter.  hal@rappahannock.com

[30] See http://www.rappflow.org/upper-thornton-watershed/index.html for the Pilot Study of Beaverdam Creek subwatershed.

[31] Page 22 in the report available at http://www.rappflow.org/PDF/pilot_study_sharable_V9.pdf

[33] For a non-shellfish water body to be in compliance with Virginia’s revised bacteria standards (as published in the Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 20) the following criteria shall apply to protect primary contact recreational uses (VADEQ, 2000): • Interim Fecal Coliform Standard: Fecal coliform bacteria shall not exceed a geometric mean of 200 fecal coliform bacteria per 100 mL of water for two or more samples over a calendar month nor shall more than 10% of the total samples taken during any calendar month exceed 400 fecal coliform bacteria per 100 mL of water. • Escherichia coli Standard: E. coli bacteria concentrations for freshwater shall not exceed a geometric mean of 126 counts per 100 mL for two or more samples taken during any calendar month and shall not exceed an instantaneous single sample maximum of 235 cfu/100mL. During an assessment period, conventional parameters such as bacteria require at least two exceedences of the standard, and an exceedance of greater than 10.5% of the total samples before a water is listed as impaired (VADEQ Assessment Guidance, 2006). If these conditions are met, the stream segment associated with that station is classified as impaired and a TMDL must be developed and implemented to bring the segment into compliance with the water quality standard. The original impairment designation to Hughes River (VAN-E03R-01), Hazel River (VAN-E04R-01), Rush River (VAN-E05R-01), Hazel River (60076), Rappahannock River (VAN-E01R-03), Rappahannock River (VAN-E08R-04), Rappahannock River (60081), Craig Run (VAN-E08R-03), Browns Run (VAN-E08R-03), and Marsh Run (VAN-E08R-01) was based on exceedances of an earlier fecal coliform standard that included a numeric single sample maximum.


[34] See http://www.rappflow.org/upper-thornton-watershed/index.html for the Pilot Study of Beaverdam Creek subwatershed. See http://www.rappflow.org/PDF/LowerRush_subwatershed_analysis_sept06.pdf for the Lower Rush study.

[35] Historical data from these stations can be accessed at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/watermonitoring/

[37] See http://www.tu.org/site/c.kkLRJ7MSKtH/b.4348001/k.A11B/Brook_Trout.htm for discussion of the study, evaluation criteria for assessing brook trout habitat, and other scientific studies of trout.

[39] B.B. Ross, J.E. Woodard, T.A. Dillaha, T.V. Williams, H.W. Smith, and D.L. Southall. “Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Rappahannock County, Virginia.”  June 1992. Household Water Quality Series 3. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

[40] Ibid.  p. 10

[41] Ibid. p. 15

[42] Source: MapTech.  “Bacterial source tracking analyses to support Virginia’s TMDL’s”.  2005.

[43] See note 16

[44] Source: Rappahannock Comprehensive Plan 2004


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