Over the past three years, LTV has more than doubled their easement intake capacity.
MIDDLEBURG, VA – Land Trust of Virginia is pleased to announce a record year of conservation easements. In 2022, LTV staff completed 21 easements for a total of 4,642 acres protected, compared to a total of 3,041 acres in 2021, and 1,765 acres conserved in 2020. These easements expanded LTV into seven new Virginia localities, including Caroline, Gloucester, Highland, Powhatan, Rockingham, and Warren Counties, and the City of Winchester, for a total of 31 localities across Virginia.
“We now hold 30,721 acres in conservation easement across an incredibly diverse Commonwealth,” said LTV Chair of the Board Childs Burden. “Included in those easements are the permanent protection of forests, water corridors, farms, and important historic landmarks that suburban sprawl would otherwise permanently destroy. That is an amazing accomplishment for the future of our landscape.”
Some of LTV’s 2022 easement highlights include:
- LTV Easement #225, Robert Taylor’s easement, is a 290-acre property located in Spotsylvania County. Most notably, the property features a historic dwelling known as “Andrew’s Tavern,” individually listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and Natural Register of Historic Places. It has served at various times as an ordinary, a school, a polling place, and a residence. Additional natural resources protected include scenic open space with 0.7 miles of frontage on Lawyers Road, 223.8 acres of “Prime Farmland Soils” or “Farmland Soils of Statewide Importance,” 141 acres of forest, and 9.5 acres of wetlands. With this easement, 12 divisions have been extinguished.
- LTV Easement #227, Hidden River Farm’s easement, is an 86-acre property located in Powhatan County and is highly visible with 3,260 feet of frontage along the Appomattox River and about a 2,000-foot-long stretch of railroad tracks. The property and the railroad bridge at the southwest corner was the site where some of Robert E. Lee’s forces escaped west from Richmond and Petersburg five days before Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. Additional natural resources now protected include 69 acres of “Prime Farmland Soils” or “Farmland Soils of Statewide Importance,” 15.26 acres of wetlands, and frontage along an intermittent stream and a pond. With this easement, nine divisions have been extinguished.
- LTV Easement #231, the Selma House easement, is a 4.9-acre property located in the historic City of Winchester. Union troops destroyed the original house named Selma which stood at the same site and used its stones to construct Fort Milroy during the Civil War. After the war, a new Selma was built in grand style by Judge Edmond Pendleton in 1872. Selma House is along the Green Circle Trail, a guided walking trail that emphasizes the restoration, protection, and interpretation of natural resources and urban green spaces, and the property provides valuable scenic open space and old growth tree canopy. With this easement, 18 divisions have been extinguished.
- LTV Easement #237, the Bowman Orchards property, 342.91 acres in Rockingham County, and LTV Easement #238, the Bowman-Hearty property, 165 acres in Shenandoah County, are both owned by the Bowman Family, one of the largest apple producers in Virginia. Both properties are nearby to several other protected lands including three other conservation easements and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. Combined, these properties contain 395 acres of “Prime Farmland Soils” or “Farmland Soils of Statewide Importance,” 51 acres of forest, 1,956 feet of Fort Run streambed, and 2,435 feet of Holmans Creek.
“This was an amazing accomplishment from our staff who worked until the final hours of the year to surpass our goal of 30,000 acres across 30 counties in honor of our 30th year in service in 2022,” said LTV Executive Director Ashton Cole. “We have expanded our capacity to meet the ever-increasing demand from landowners to ensure we continue to provide the highest quality conservation work. We are more motivated than ever to maintain this pace and protect our landscape for all Virginians.”
The Land Trust of Virginia leads the Commonwealth, holding more conservation easements than any other private land trust. For more information about their work, please visit landtrustva.org.
Photo courtesy of Sophie Langenberg.
Posted on: March 14, 2023.