The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation recently announced that a matching-fund grant from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will help permanently protect a 220-acre easement known as the Crowder and White tract in Southampton County. According to a press release from Enviva, the tract will be the first of two parcels of environmentally sensitive land in Southampton County to be protected with financial assistance from the Fund.
When the second easement is completed, a total of 385 acres of floodplain forestland, dominated by mature cypress-tupelo, will be protected. The land protected through this first award is across the Nottoway River from another parcel already protected by the DCR. Together, the two parcels form “The Narrows,” an important transit point for river herring, shad and alewife – fish species that rely on floodplain forests for spawning and nursery habitats. The swamps also provide habitats for a multitude of waterfowl, water birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and other fish.
The Narrows will now be permanently protected.
“The permanent protection of this property with a conservation easement is cause for celebration,” said Carlton Owen, president and CEO of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, which administers the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund. “Not only is it a valuable property for fish, wildlife and recreation, it is also the first transaction to be completed of the four Enviva Forest Conservation Fund awards made in 2016. It’s the first of many more to come.”
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