The Channels Natural Area Preserve
was protected through a partnership between
TNC and the commonwealth of Virginia.
COVER PHOTO: The Channels Natural Area Preserve was protected through a partnership between TNC and the commonwealth of Virginia. © Michael Speed

Stories in Virginia

2018 Year in Review

FROM THE DIRECTOR

With Great Conservation Comes Great Responsibility
Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy in Virginia
Locke Ogens Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy in Virginia © Kyle LaFerriere

At The Nature Conservancy, we hold ourselves accountable not only to our members, but also to our partners, to the public and even to the creatures whose survival remains at stake as we strive to protect the world’s natural resources.

When you see our work in the headlines, it’s usually for projects that make a big splash—literally, in the case of our oyster and seagrass restoration projects, which are the largest, most successful efforts of their kind on the planet.

Our habitat restoration work, such as in the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia Coast Reserve, is inspiring and informing conservation around the globe, including Australia’s undertaking of the largest shellfish restoration in that continent’s history. And in return, we benefit from the knowledge and experience of experts around the world.

Global networks like these don’t fall into place overnight. They happen because day after day, year after year—for decades—we have put in the work, building our credibility from the ground up and earning trust partner by partner.

Land stewardship, in particular, too often goes unsung, yet it epitomizes our organization’s long-term commitment to results. We all celebrate the establishment of a new preserve or completion of a major conservation easement—and rightly so—but our conservation work in that place has only begun.

Our Virginia stewardship team cares for a preserve system that bookends the state from the Eastern Shore to the Clinch Valley. They are also responsible for monitoring each of our 218 conservation easements every year.

Our deep sense of responsibility has been key in gaining credibility and engaging partners, including government land-management agencies. These relationships enable massive restoration efforts, such as reintroducing fire to our Southern pine and Appalachian forest systems across tens of thousands of acres.

Thanks to our many partners around the world—and to loyal supporters like you—we achieve lasting, transformative conservation. I am grateful for your help as, together, we create a future for nature and people to thrive.

Across the Commonwealth: Our Virginia

A mixed stand of longleaf pine in the Leaf River Wildlife Management Area near Camp Shelby in Mississippi.
Longleaf Pine TNC and partners are restoring hundreds of acres of longleaf in southeastern Virginia. © Erika Nortemann / TNC

 

Protecting our Land: Forests

We're working to ensure that Virginia's forests continue to harbor wildlife, support recreation and forestry, and clean the air we breathe and the water we drink.            

The Potomac River at Fraser Preserve, Fairfax County, VA.
Sunrise on the River The Potomac River at Fraser Preserve, Fairfax County, VA. © Thomas Hamilton

 

Protecting Our Water: Rivers and Bays

From the Chesapeake Bay to the Clinch River, we seek to secure clean water, abundant wildlife and sustainable fisheries for the benefit of people and nature.    

Views from this rocky outcrop look west onto the Shenandoah Valley and north to Shenandoah National Park.
Humpback Rocks Views from this rocky outcrop look west onto the Shenandoah Valley and north to Shenandoah National Park. © Daniel White

 

Combating Climate Change

Protecting and restoring healthy natural systems to withstand a changing climate and rising seas.

Dave Shoch and Cricket Barlow wade into wetland at Forks of the Rivanna, near Charlottesville, Virginia, #BirdBlitz17.
These restored forested wetlands and freshwater marsh epitomize the public benefits that conservation easements on private property can generate. © © The Nature Conservancy (Daniel White)

Protected for Future Generations

Approximately a quarter million of the nearly 350,000 acres across Virginia that The Nature Conservancy has helped to protect are composed primarily of TNC preserves and 218 private properties on which we hold conservation easements.

Easements are binding, usually permanent legal agreements specifying how property can and cannot be used so that conservation values are protected. But what does “protected” mean?

Recording a land acquisition or conservation easement at the courthouse is cause for celebration, but paper doesn’t make a preserve or an easement. People and persistence do.

That means visiting all 285 properties in Virginia; meeting with landowners, hiking miles and miles of property boundaries, and hopping aboard helicopters, trucks and ATVs. Enduring stuck vehicles, bee stings, muddy boots and worn out legs.  

Every year.

Annual monitoring of both preserves and easements is a commitment that The Nature Conservancy takes extremely seriously, not only to retain the highest Land Trust Alliance accreditation, but also to keep faith with our supporters and partners, including landowners.

Maintaining good relationships and communications is critical to an effective monitoring program and, thus, to long-term conservation.

  • 2018 Year in Review

    (1.22 MB PDF)

    A look back at our conservation successes across the commonwealth.

    DOWNLOAD

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Together we can find creative solutions to tackle our most complex conservation challenges and build a stronger future for people and nature. Will you help us continue this work?