The Piedmont View
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Winter 2019 Piedmont View

The 2019 winter edition of our member newsletter features articles about our trout stream restoration efforts, year one at the community farm, a welcome to Kat Imhoff, on the ground updates, and more. View the articles individually or view a PDF for the entire issue.


Loudoun County is one of the most affluent counties in the nation and simultaneously home to some 14,000 people without reliable access to affordable, nutritious food. It is consistently one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, and yet over 200,000 acres is planned to remain rural with over 58,000 acres of permanently conserved open space. Nestled among the three roundabouts of Routes 15 and 50 and Howser’s Branch Road, lies PEC’s Community Farm. Located at the literal intersection of suburban and rural Loudoun County, it is perfectly positioned both to shine a light on the value of conservation and to make practical, tangible progress to address food insecurity in the community.


When it comes to conservation, Kat Imhoff is nothing short of a virtuoso, as abundant in inspiration and innovation as she is in action. At the helm of Montpelier, Monticello, and The Nature Conservancy in Montana, she led conservation and restoration projects that preserve significant historical, cultural and rural legacies. PEC is proud to welcome Kat into its fold as senior conservation fellow, working out of our Charlottesville office.


Updates from the around the PEC region, organized by county. Albemarle: New parkland. Clarke: Fall Supper & Powhatan Water Quality Curriculum. Culpeper: Utility-Scale Solar & Clevengers Village. Fauquier: Sanctuary at Barrel Oak, solar proposal near Bealeton, & a bus tour of Southern Fauquier. Greene: Ruckersville and Reservoir. Loudoun: Rural uses review, HOA coalition, & Goose Creek watershed easement analysis. Madison: Criglersville School & Mitchell's Mountain. Orange: Dollar General application in Barboursville & Gordonsville parks grow. Rappahannock: Headwater Stream Initiative & USFWS stream surveys at VDOT pilot projects.


Earlier this fall, my dad passed away peacefully at home with my mom by his side. As anyone who knows me is aware, I have always been proud of my dad. He was a deeply patriotic American who resigned from the Foreign Service to protest abuse of executive power during the Vietnam War. He led the staff effort in Congress to end funding for the bombing in Cambodia and was made staff director of the Select Committee to Investigate National Emergency Powers, which led to greater oversight of our intelligence agencies. Then he returned to diplomatic affairs, where he worked in U.S.-Soviet relations, served as Ambassador to Ukraine and as senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center. His career was one of integrity and of speaking truth to power.


This year’s Virginia General Assembly promises to be an interesting one, as the November 2019 elections resulted in a change in leadership in both the House and the Senate. A new Speaker of the House (Filler-Corn), Senate Majority Leader (Saslaw) and large shifts in committee memberships of both bodies are among the changes. With Governor Northam still in office, the Democrats have consolidated control of state government for the first time in more than two decades. And that means we will see many of the priorities of the party at the forefront of the legislative agenda.

As the fog broke on a brisk November morning in Madison County, more than three dozen people arrived at the Whiteoak Canyon trailhead ready to celebrate the new, 35-foot, open-span bridge over Cedar Run. They marveled at the sounds of water bubbling over the rocky streambed from the north side of the bridge to the south. Many walked upright beneath the sturdy, brown, steel-framed structure. And all excitedly searched the deep pools for our guests of honor—the native brook trout, a species of concern on Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan.

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