Conserving Forest Land and Forest Resources
During the last ten years the Commonwealth has lost an average of 16,000 acres of forestland annually. Most of these acres are being lost as forested land is converted to other uses such as houses, shopping centers or roads. Loss of forested acres and the fragmentation of the remaining acres reduces the potential of the forest to provide the economic, social and ecological benefits that we depend on.
Since 1914, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has worked to protect and improve Virginia’s working forests. Today the VDOF is taking the lead in protecting working forests from conversion.
- Ways to Conserve Forest Land
- Conservation Incentive Programs - summary of “cost-share” programs help landowners manage the cost of conservation projects.
- Landowner Options for Forest Land Conservation (English; PDF format)
- Summary of Local Comprehensive Plans (PDF, 313 pp., 6MB, Dec. 2011)
Private landowners and rural communities use these programs and partnerships to help care for their forests, strengthen local economies, and maintain a high quality of life.
Conservation Agencies and Programs
- Dept of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) – Conservation of open space for recreation, scenic areas, trails, and natural heritage sites. Also provides oversight for state conservation efforts and tracking of conservation goals. Administers the Virginia Land Conservation Fund (VLCF).
- Manager, Office of Land Conservation, 804.225.2048
- Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) - Conservation of working farms, certification and funding for local PDR programs.
- Kevin Schmidt, 804.786.1346
- Dept of Historic Resources (DHR) – Conservation of historic buildings and sites, battlefields, cultural and archeological sites.
- Wendy Musumeci, Easement Program Coordinator. 804.482.6096.
- Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) - Conservation of wetlands and wildlife habitat, as well as wildlife management areas.
- VA Outdoors Foundation (VOF) - Organization that is the primary holder of conservation easements in Virginia. Established to “promote the preservation of open-space lands and to encourage private gifts of money, securities, land or other property to preserve the natural, scenic, historic, scientific, open-space and recreational areas of the Commonwealth.”
- Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Federal program provides rental payments to farmers for conservation practices to enhance water quality and wildlife habitat, administered by DCR.
- Diane Dunaway, 804.287.1634.
Conservation organizations, Land Trusts and conservancies that protect land
These websites offer up-to-date lists of national, state, and local organizations.
- DCR website
- Land Trust Alliance’s website:
- VDACS Office of Farmland Preservation:
Contact information for all our programs
- Mike Santucci, Assistant Director for Forestland Conservation
- Larry Mikkelson, Forest Legacy Program Coordinator
- Kim Biasiolli, Forest Conservation Specialist, Central Region.
- Rob Suydam, Forest Conservation Specialist, Eastern Region
- Andrew Fotinos, Forest Conservation Specialist, Western Region
Last modified: Wednesday, 20-Jan-2016 08:59:27 EST