The Williamsburg Land Conservancy’s efforts to protect and preserve land in the James and York River watersheds have expanded 847 acres into King William County and the upper York River basin. The Conservancy has been working for several months with Cary Longest, the owner of Piping Tree Farm and Rock Springs, to place easements on his two properties. The Conservancy’s efforts in the upper York Basin is “critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay."
Piping Tree Farm totals 499 acres and is situated along the Pamunkey River, a tributary of the York River. Longest and his family own the land, which contains numerous streams, small wetlands, forest, and 100 acres of agricultural land that is farmed with the “no till” method. Wildlife is abundant in the substantially undeveloped piece of property.
Rock Springs consists of 348 acres that is mainly mature forest. There are 2,400 linear feet on Webb Creek, a tributary of Moncuin Creek, which is a tributary of the Pamunkey River. According to the press release, the parcel was approved for the development of a 110-lot subdivision that will now never be built.
“The Conservancy’s easements are in perpetuity,” said Caren Schumacher, executive director of the Conservancy. “That means that the land cannot be developed in 10, 20 or 50 years – not ever.”
With the addition of the two easements, the Conservancy has protected 970 acres in 2011, bringing the total number of acres they hold in conservation to over 4,000 acres.
“It’s been a very good year for the Conservancy’s land protection efforts,” Schumacher said.