Contact: Mike Kane
Director of Land Conservation
The Piedmont Environmental Council
(540) 347-2337 ext. 7063
The Piedmont Environmental Council reports a total of 408,939 acres have been protected in Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties by landowners working together with land trusts and public agencies. The total includes 7,739 acres added in 2018.
“More and more people are interested in protecting the special qualities of their properties,” said Chris Miller, PEC President. “Working together, we have an opportunity to ensure that the Piedmont is a place that provides the land needed for good food, clean drinking water and great places to enjoy nature.
“Thank you to all of the families that make conservation in Virginia such a great community effort!”
An easement is a voluntary agreement between a landowner and a land trust (such as a public agency or a non-profit conservation group like PEC) to permanently protect natural, scenic and cultural resources on their land.
“Over 60 landowners and 12 different conservation organizations helped ensure the long-term preservation of our region’s landscape last year,” said Mike Kane, PEC’s director of conservation. “The 7,739 acres protected in 2018 represents an almost 25 percent increase over the acreage conserved in 2017.”
Conservation programs like Virginia’s Land Preservation Tax Credit and some local initiatives offer a set of strong financial incentives for landowners interested in conserving their land.
“One of PEC’s goal is to educate landowners in our region about their conservation options,” said Kane. “In addition to state and local financial incentives, we also have funding available to assist landowners with the cost of donating conservation easements.”
Approximate county-by-county conservation totals are as follows:
|County||Acres Protected in 2018 by Conservation Easements||Total Acres Protected by Conservation Easements|
In total, conservation easements in these nine counties have protected approximately:
- 1,689 miles of streams;
- 10,012 acres of wetlands;
- 26,229 acres adjacent to scenic rivers;
- 193,936 acres of prime farmland soils;
- 192,907 acres of forests;
- 108,540 acres along scenic byways;
- 123,680 acres in the viewshed of the Appalachian Trail;
- 128,985 acres in historic districts;
- and 29,848 acres of Civil War battlefields.