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Virginia awarded more than $14M in federal funding for three conservation projects

Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

The Department of Agriculture has awarded the Commonwealth $14,070,000 in federal funding for three conservation projects.

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia announced the funding today is courtesy of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Legacy Program (FLP), and made possible through annual Land and Water Conservation Funding (LWCF) as well as the Inflation Reduction Act.

“We are proud to announce this funding to support conservation efforts, protect wildlife, and help Virginians safeguard our natural lands for generations to come,” the senators said. “This funding will preserve thousands of acres of scenic land and boost outdoor recreation, a critical part of local economies across the Commonwealth.”

The funding is as follows:

  • The Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve Expansion Project in Floyd and Carroll counties will receive $9,500,000 in Land and Water Conservation Funding to protect 3,311 acres of the Southern Appalachian Rich Cove Forest and productive white pine, as well as nearly 14 miles of mountain streams at the headwaters of the New River. The funding will secure public access to outdoor recreation activities, alleviate pressure on existing Preserve resources, and support the tourism economy of surrounding communities.
  • The Assamoosic Pinelands State Forest Project in Southampton County will receive $3,265,000in federal funding courtesy of the Inflation Reduction Act to establish a new state forest. The state-recognized Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia will enter into a co-stewardship agreement with the Virginia Department of Forestry and The Nature Conservancy to collaboratively manage the property in the center of the former Nottoway Indian Tribe reservation.
  • The Cedar Mountain Project in Albemarle County will receive $1,305,000in federal funding courtesy of the Inflation Reduction Act to construct a conservation easement that will protect 767 acres of family-owned forestland. The project will help ensure the Appalachian Corridor’s protection and enhance critical habitat connectivity and climate resiliency in the region.

Warner & Kaine have long supported efforts to protect and preserve Virginia’s landscapes. Last year, they introduced the Virginia Wilderness Additions Act, which would add 5,600 acres to the existing Rough Mountain and Rich Hole wilderness areas within the George Washington National Forest in Bath County. The senators also successfully pushed to pass legislation to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating the Great Dismal Swamp and its associated sites as a National Heritage Area, as well as legislation to establish the Northern Neck as a National Heritage Area, both of which President Biden signed into law. Warner and Kaine also authored and championed the Great American Outdoors Act legislation to preserve and protect our country’s public lands.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.