Appalachian Forestland Protected (VA)

Woodstock, VA, 6/25/01: Another critical patch of forestland has been protected and added to the George Washington National Forest in Shenandoah County. Purchase of the 167-acre property was facilitated by the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization using funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The property, near the popular Wolf Gap Recreation Area, is completely surrounded by U.S. Forest Service land. Public ownership of the property will provide additional public access and protect plant and animal diversity, and will also provide convenient access and protect scenic trail views.

Located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, Virginia’s George Washington National Forest protects wildlife habitat and offers tremendous recreational opportunities and spectacular scenery. When combined with the adjacent Jefferson National Forest, approximately 1.8 million acres of forestland stand, interwoven with streams, protecting wildlife habitat and natural resources while also offering recreational opportunities such as hiking and fishing. The newly-protected property includes scenic vistas, including an excellent view from Bowers Mountain. Only three hours outside of Washington, DC, these valuable resources are easily accessible to millions of outdoor enthusiasts.

The Trust for Public Land has played an important role in the protection of land for the forests and has completed projects protecting more than 5,100 acres. In addition to acquiring land for public use and enjoyment, TPL’s additions to the forests have provided additional access to trails, fishing and hunting at the Fenwick Mines Recreation Area for people with disabilities and linked a regional network of equestrian trails near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Trust for Public Land is a national non-profit land conservation organization that specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, public finance, and law to protect land for people. TPL conserves land for people to improve the quality of life in communities and to protect natural and historic resources for future generations. For more than 13 years, TPL has been actively protecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed and has protected more than 10,500 acres of watershed land to date. Following the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement, TPL teamed up with the Chesapeake Bay Commission and authored a report Keeping the Commitment: Preserving Land in the Chesapeake Watershed. Founded in 1972, and based in San Francisco, TPL has protected more than 1 million acres of land valued at $1.8 billion.