Governor Bob McDonnell Commends Nature Conservancy on Largest Conservation Easement in Virginia History

- Group Acquires 13,350 Acres of Land in Dragon Run Swamp on Middle Peninsula-

RICHMOND- Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell today commended the Nature Conservancy for placing 13,350 acres of land in Dragon Run Swamp on the Middle Peninsula in a conservation easement. This is the largest conservation easement in Virginia history. The Nature Conservancy purchased the land from the Hancock Timber Resource Group.  The group then sold the property to The Forestland Group and retained a permanent conservation easement on the entire property.  This acquisition adds to protected lands at Dragon Run, with protected land in this area now totaling 20,000 acres. Dragon Run Swamp is considered to be one of the most ecologically important areas in the Chesapeake Bay region.

            Speaking about today’s announcement by the Nature Conservancy, Governor McDonnell remarked, “Virginia is blessed with beautiful rivers and waterways, rolling mountains, broad valleys, open spaces and vast natural resources.  It is critical that we preserve and protect this natural beauty for Virginians to enjoy for generations to come. There is a bipartisan commitment to this common goal. I commend Governor Tim Kaine and Speaker Bill Howell for their efforts to preserve 400,000 acres during Governor Kaine’s term, and I have pledged to work to conserve an additional 400,000 acres more during my term in office.  Today I commend the Nature Conservancy for their success in conserving 13,350 acres of land in Dragon Run Swamp, a vital and pristine area that plays a crucial role in the health of the Chesapeake Bay. This represents the largest conservation easement of land at one time in the history of Virginia. I applaud the efforts and success of the Nature Conservancy and its partners.”