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223-Acre Forestry Easement Granted in Albemarle

The Virginia Department of Forestry has been granted a working forest conservation easement on 223 acres in Albemarle County. The land, made up of four parcels owned by Benjamin, Terry and Thomas Warthen, sits due west of Monticello and contains a tributary of Biscuit Run.

According to a news release from the VDOF, the easement received funding under the Forests to Faucets program, which helps protect water quality in the Rivanna River Basin. The Warthen easement is the second in the county to fall under Forests to Faucets in the last 12 months, VDOF conservation specialist Mike Santucci said.

The first was the Albano easement, which protected 149 acres of forested land off Bluffton Mill Road in western Albemarle. Santucci said VDOF is currently working on three other easements in Albemarle, comprising more than 550 total acres.

“We’re working on them, but it’s kind of like an accordion — you never can tell exactly how long it will take, but hopefully by the end of the summer,” he said.

The average easement takes about six months to finalize, Santucci said.

To be considered for a Department of Forestry easement, a piece of land must cover at least 50 acres and be at least 75 percent forested. Landowners must also be willing to have a forest stewardship management program prepared for their land.

In 2011, VDOF was granted easements on 24 pieces of property covering 8,005 acres around the state. In the last five years, the department has recorded more than 20,000 total acres under easement.

~This story is courtesy of the Daily Progress.

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