Chesapeake Conservancy Applauds Governor McAuliffe’s Virginia Treasures Program

Annapolis, MD – Chesapeake Conservancy applauds Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s “Virginia Treasures” conservation program which will protect or expand access to 1,000 natural treasures. The Administration’s stated goal is “to identify, conserve and protect at least 1,000 treasures by the end of the governor’s term.”

“Governor McAuliffe’s commitment to biodiversity, public access and wetlands preservation will mean more parks, more public water access and more access to nature for all of Virginia’s residents and visitors,” Chesapeake Conservancy’s President & CEO Joel Dunn said. “The Chesapeake region, which has a population approaching 17 million and climbing, is losing tens of thousands of acres of open space each year.  Thanks to Virginia’s forward thinking Governor, future generations will be able to enjoy Virginia’s Treasures for many generations to come.”

According to the Administration, criteria for what constitutes a treasure have been developed by the Commonwealth’s natural resources staff. Treasures could fall into one of two defined categories: land conservation or natural, cultural and recreational.

  • Land conservation treasures include agricultural lands, forests that provide water-quality benefits, wetlands, and habitat for rare or threatened plants and animals.
  • Natural, cultural and recreational treasures include trails, water-access points, parks, scenic byways, rivers and viewsheds, public gardens and wildlife-viewing areas.

The Chesapeake Conservancy has been proud to work with the Governor on many land conservation projects, including the designation of $38 million in the President’s FY 2016 Budget for conservation in the Chesapeake watershed, securing $6 million in the Omnibus Spending Bill for fiscal year 2015 for land conservation along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail in Virginia, and new Capt. John Smith Trail public access sites such as Caledon State Park (pictured above).