Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Helps Protect Virginia Forestland

Source: Visit Site
Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Helps Protect Virginia Forestland

In a landmark conservation effort, 2,808.16 acres of Pierce’s Low Grounds in Greensville County, Virginia, have been permanently protected, securing a vital ecological asset for future generations. The property, recognized by the Virginia Department of Forestry with a high-ranking in “Forest Conservation Value,” is now protected from development, thanks to collaborative efforts and strategic partnerships.

The conservation initiative was made possible in part through a grant provided by the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (EFCF), underscoring the commitment to preserving critical habitats and fostering biodiversity. This project exemplifies the power of partnerships in advancing conservation goals.

Key Features of Pierce’s Low Grounds:

  1. Ecological Significance: The Property, identified as part of the Virginia Piedmont Forest Block complex (Important Bird Area), boasts significant ecological importance. It houses diverse habitats crucial for the sustenance of various species.
  2. River Frontage: Pierce’s Low Grounds contains approximately 3,900 feet of frontage along the Meherrin River, a tributary of the Chowan River. This strategic location contributes to the protection of water quality in the Meherrin and Chowan Rivers, ultimately benefiting the Albemarle-Pamlico Sound Estuary.
  3. Threatened Species Habitat: Within the property’s boundaries lies habitat critical for threatened species, including Rafinesque’s Eastern Big Eared Bat, Eastern Mudsnake, and Green Floater. Preserving this habitat is a significant step in the conservation of these species.
  4. Natural Heritage Screening: The Property falls within the Claresville Bottomlands Natural Heritage Screening Conservation Site, further emphasizing its ecological significance and the need for its protection.

Estie Thomas, Easement Manager at Virginia Outdoors Foundation, expressed the importance of the preservation of Pierce’s Low Grounds: “This project nearly doubles the amount of pristine forest and habitat VOF has conserved in partnership with Enviva over the past decade. We are grateful for their support, and for the support of the landowners whose commitment to conservation is inspiring.”

Brandi Colander, Chief Sustainability Officer at Enviva, stated, “We are incredibly pleased to have been able to assist in the permanent conservation of this property due to its significant importance for critical bottomland forests as well as for the preservation and protection of precious habitats for various species, including threatened ones.”

The Pierce’s Low Grounds conservation project aligns with the broader mission of environmental stewardship and sustainable land management, ensuring the perpetual preservation of this significant natural landscape.