Implementing best management practices in the development of your land stewardship plan is critical to protecting your environmental resources, including wildlife habitat, water quality, and soil health. These considerations play an important role in the overall condition of the Virginia Piedmont landscape that ties us all together.
Land stewardship is an educational movement growing across the globe that is driven by the common understanding that caring for and preserving our land has a significant positive impact on the many layers of our landscape.
Stewardship does not simply involve exploring and enjoying your environment. Instead, it requires developing thoughtful and research based management plans that support wildlife habitat, native species, and soil health. It serves as a guiding source in your plans for economizing your land with livestock, crops, and other agricultural pursuits. These plans are rooted in protecting and maintaining natural resources and practicing sustainable agriculture and land preservation.
Beginning a land stewardship project means understanding the current components of your land and its future for potential growth. Gaining a clear awareness of your goals as a land steward will aid you on your journey to developing good land stewardship practices. There are many management strategies to consider to ensure that you support your land’s ecosystem and minimize the adverse effects.
A conservation easement is a private legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified land trust that protects the land from unwanted development in perpetuity. The landowner works with the land trust to craft the legal easement document so that it protects the significant natural and cultural attributes of the land. The conservation easement is a permanent legal document that gets recorded with the property’s deed and travels with the property even when the property changes ownership.
Conservation easements permanently protect the open space and environmental resources of properties for future generations and help conserve the greater integrity of Virginia Piedmont’s historic landscape. Additionally, landowners receive state tax credits which can be sold, as well as federal income tax deductions. Easements also reduce the property taxes for the landowner.