Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

07/18/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/18/2019 09:48

DCR Protects More Than 1,000 Acres in Six Months

Media inquiries: Please contact Dave Neudeck, [email protected], 804-786-5053.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 18, 2019
Contact: Shelby Crouch, Senior Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, (804) 786-6419, [email protected]

DCR Protects More Than 1,000 Acres in Six Months

In the first six months of 2019, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) acquired and added more than 1,045 acres to six DCR properties. This acreage expands existing state parks and adds land to future state parks. It will also protect and enhance habitat for rare species in the Natural Area Preserve system.

Additions include:

  • Clinch River State Park (under development): 1 acre
    This property will provide river access for canoes and kayaks. This parcel was donated by The Nature Conservancy.
  • Clinch River State Park (under development): 232 acres
    This acquisition was the first anchor property in the 'string of pearls' that will make up Clinch River State Park.
  • Mount Joy Pond Natural Area Preserve: 85 acres
    This addition will protect rare species habitat and provide a smoke buffer for prescribed burn activities at the preserve. This acquisition was made possible by the Virginia Native Plant Society, which originally bought the property using a grant from the DuPont Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Settlement. It was then donated to DCR.
  • Hungry Mother State Park: 9 acres
    This addition will provide a buffer at the entrance to the park and improve the visitor experience.
  • York River State Park: 401 acres
    This park addition was made possible by funding from the Trust for Public Land and the Navy Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program.
  • Mayo River State Park (under development): 214 acres
    The Piedmont Land Conservancy used Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill Settlement funds to buy this parcel, which the conservancy then donated to DCR.
  • Magothy Bay Natural Area Preserve: 106 acres
    This land will be restored to provide migratory bird habitat. Funding was provided by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation.

DCR assesses potential conservation opportunities, whether it be land for new state parks, additions to existing state parks or additions to the Natural Area Preserve system for the protection of native species. These purchases and donations often involve DCR's network of partners, nonprofits and conservation organizations.

'Virginia State Parks is pleased to work with numerous partners to ensure that significant additions are made for recreational and conservation efforts across the state. These acquisitions will help to provide outdoor experiences for current and future generations,' said Virginia State Parks Director Craig Seaver. 'Organizations such as the Trust for Public Land, Navy Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program, Piedmont Land Conservancy, Nature Conservancy and others are instrumental in making these acquisitions happen.'

'DCR's Natural Heritage Program has remarkable, decades-long partnerships with the Virginia Native Plant Society and the Coastal Zone Management Program at DEQ,' said Natural Areas Stewardship Manager Rick Myers. 'Thus far in 2019, these relationships have led to natural area acquisitions that will protect rare species and provide conservation benefits for all Virginians.'

All the acquisitions fall under one or more categories in Gov. Ralph Northam's ConserveVirginia initiative, which provides a roadmap for land conservation across the state. Through it, 19 data inputs are analyzed to categorize prospective land into six conservation categories. The initiative is meant to maximize conservation value from state-funded land acquisition.

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