Land Conservation

The New River Land Trust (NRLT) provides outreach, education, facilitation and implementation services to landowners and others with an interest in conserving rural land and its associated natural and/or cultural resources. We have a particular focus on the New River region, although over the years we have worked with people out of state and in many Virginia counties.

Historically the NRLT’s primary conservation tool has been donated conservation easements and providing information about how these easements work. However, every piece of land and every landowner’s needs are unique. The NRLT works hard to find conservation options that fit each situation. Options include the following:

Image of Tom Douthat on his conserved farm in Pulaski County.
Tom Douthat on his conserved farm in Pulaski County.

  • Conservation easements, both donations and easement purchase projects
  • Donations of land for conservation
  • Fee simple purchase of land for conservation purposes
  • Federal, state and local government conservation incentives with a few examples below
    • Federal grant funding through Land & Water Conservation Fund
    • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service programs through Farm Bill
    • Virginia cost share programs for water resources through Soil & Water Conservation Districts and Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
    • Land Use Taxation and Ag Forestal Districts through local governments
  • Programs offered by other nonprofit groups such as Trout Unlimited, American Farmland Trust and others
  • Helping connect landowners with people seeking to lease agricultural and forest land
  • Helping to connect retiring farmers with young farmers to add in farm transition

Public Policy

The New River Land Trust (NRLT) does not lobby for or support persons in or campaigning for political office at any level of government. The NRLT does, as its organizational capacity allows, advocacy work for federal, state and local policy issues that closely relate to the organization’s conservation mission. Conservation in Virginia has historically enjoyed strong bipartisan support at all levels of government and NRLT believes that continuing this trend makes sense for the sustainability of Virginia’s economic, social and environmental systems and for sustaining successful conservation efforts both across Virginia and in the New River region.