The Cedar Run watershed incorporates a substantial portion of Fauquier County and central Prince William County. The watershed comprises nearly one-quarter of the total land area of Fauquier County and has historically supported agriculture in the form of family farms. The watershed possesses many elements valuable to conservation


* Highly productive agricultural lands in both counties, representing the majority of commercial farm production
* Water for both public drinking water supplies and agricultural use, including Town of Warrenton and large portions of Prince William and Fauquier Counties
* Important wildlife resources with the potential for serving a s a primary link between the tidal areas of the Potomac River and the mountain areas of the Piedmont and the Blue Ridge Mountains
* Numerous important historic resources including many Colonial and Civil War site

The Julian W. Scheer Cedar Run Land Conservation Fund is seeking to preserve these agricultural lands, critical watershed resources, historic areas and the cultural integrity of Cedar Run watershed in Fauquier and Prince William counties.

In order to achieve this mission, the Fund will be available to protect critical at-risk properties through a full range of conservation options, including conservation easements purchases. Properties will be protected with easements and then resold to conservation buyers or transferred to public or nonprofit organizations.

The fund is named in memory of former PEC Board Vice Chairman Julian Scheer, of Catlett. Mr. Scheer was a dedicated conservationist who helped spearhead the efforts in opposition to the Disney Corporation's proposed development of 3,000 acres in Haymarket. He successfully broadened the awareness of the need to protect and preserve the historic Piedmont countryside.

More than 700 Acres Protected in Cedar Run Watershed - January 2006

The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) and the Cedar Run Fund recently teamed with the Federal Farm and Ranch Protection Program to purchase a conservation easement on over 700 acres of forests and farmland on the banks of Cedar Run in southern Fauquier County. This action by public and private partners--including the landowner, who donated a portion of the easement's value- permanently protected this working farm from development and other heavy uses.

"This represents a major success for conservation in southern Fauquier," says PEC's Director of Land Conservation, Catherine Scott, "and it will also benefit many thousands of people in Northern Virginia who depend on this watershed for their drinking water. This really is a spectacular easement because of the significance of the conservation values we were able to protect."

The Federal Farm and Ranch Protection Program helped to fund the easement primarily because of the land's agricultural value, with almost 60% of its soils classified as prime farmland. Additionally, the property contains miles of frontage along Cedar Run and other streams. Forested buffers will be maintained along these streams, to prevent erosion and water pollution. The easement helps to fulfill numerous goals of the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan, including the preservation of farmland, water quality, open space, and scenic views. The property also provides valuable habitat for wildlife.

All of these conservation values are enhanced by the fact that the property adjoins a significant expanse of other protected lands. The conservation of this land adds to a total of more than 65,000 acres of privately owned, protected land in Fauquier County, making Fauquier a statewide leader in voluntary, private conservation.