Programs: Each year the new river land trust, in partnership with the virginia outdoors foundation, other state and federal government agencies, and other conservation organizations, works with landowners from elliston in montgomery county west to cox's chapel in grayson county to save large tracts of land and family farms in the new river region. A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement by a landowner that protects his or her land from intensive development in perpetuity. Conservation easements protect working forest lands and vital regional water resources for human, wildlife, and aquatic species. The landowneer continues to own the farmland or forest and can pursue all traditional uses of the land, such as agricultural and timbering. In exchange for protecting the land's conservation values, the owner receives generous state and federal tax incentives. In 2017, the new river land trust helped 5 landowners place almost 1001 acres under conservation easements. These projects included important forest and open space lands in carroll county, a large dairy farm in pulaski county, a wythe county farm adjacent to the new river trail sate park with notable water, natural heritage and scenic resources. All these projects and the over 249 other easements/other projects the land trust has facilitated since 2002 contribute to preserving the rural landscape and heritage of the new river region. Also, in 2017, the new river land trust continued to partner with local governments, regional organizations, and other stakeholders in strategic planning to identify critical lands and resources for targeted conservation outreach and education. These efforts included development of an upgraded gis system that can be used by staff and board members to quickly identify properties with important conservation values in our service area. This project continues the land trust's efforts to strategically pursue its mission. The new river land trust's work helps balance growth and development with conservation of regionally and locally important rural lands and resources. Since 2002, the new river land trust has worked with more than 254 landowners to voluntarily place almost 52,000 acres of farms, forests, open spaces, and historic places in conservation easements. This protected area includes over 26 miles along the new river, one of the fourteen american heritage rivers in the country and the only one in virginia. The new river and its surrounding appalachian mountain landscape are defining features of the area.
New River Land Trust is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means New River Land Trust meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. New River Land Trust has demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate their commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. Learn More: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.