The Trust presently holds 44 conservation easement agreements permanently protecting the conservation values of 11,769 acres in the Lost/Cacapon River Valley.
We concentrate but don’t limit our land protection efforts in specific areas where neighbors are encouraging their neighbors to protect land, and where these blocks of protected land connect with public parcels such as the George Washington National Forest and Short Mountain Wildlife Management Area.
The Trust is also working to protect connected parcels in Morgan County adjacent to the Cacapon State Park, eventually connecting the Park to a 2,300-acre parcel owned and protected by the WV Division of Natural Resources.
When adjoining parcels are protected, the sum of the conservation values is greater than isolated tracts of protected land in a sea of development. For instance, a 100-acre parcel surrounded by development would not work as well for wild turkey habitat as the same 100-acre parcel if it were adjacent to and part of a 4,000-acre block of protected land or a national forest or state park.
Some of the first questions we ask people who are interested in donating a conservation easement are: “Does your desire for land protection come from the heart?” “Is your land like a loved one — you want to protect and care for it—to know it’s safe when you’re gone?” If your answer is yes, then a conservation easement agreement might be for you. You may also be driven by, and wish to take advantage of, the federal tax benefits provided for landowners who donate conservation easement on their land.
Although the Trust is concentrating its efforts in these conservation areas of the watershed, we sincerely encourage you to talk with your neighbors and create your own conservation area, or to talk with us specifically about your special place!