Category Archives: Land Use

Items related to agriculture, preservation, development, forestry, and other land-based activities that affect water resources.

Tree Seedlings for Sale, Quail Project Update, May 16 Training for Removing Non-native Invasive Plants at Dyke Marsh in Fairfax County,and More Available in April 9, 2014, Outdoor Report from Va. Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries

The latest “Outdoor Report” (4/9/14) from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) in now available at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/outdoor-report/2014/04/09/.

Each edition of the Outdoor Report is full of information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, boating, and other outdoor activities.  The sections of the 4/9/14 report are listed below, with hyperlinks to go to the individual items.

Stewardship Virginia Seeks to Promote Natural Resource Conservation Projects Between Apr. 1 and May 31 and Between Sep. 1-Oct. 31

Stewardship Virginia is a statewide initiative held twice annually to help citizens with projects that enhance and conserve Virginia’s natural and cultural resources.  The program seeks to promote waterway adoption, trail improvement, riparian buffers, invasive species control, habitat improvement, landscaping for conservation, environmental education activities, and other projects.  2014 is the 12th year for the campaign; April 1-May 31 and September 1-October 31 are the two time periods again this year.

To learn how you can get involved—including getting a certificate signed by the governor!—visit the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Web site at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/stewardship/index.shtml.  More information is also available from Bonnie Phillips at bonnie.phillips@dcr.virginia.gov or 1-877-42-WATER (877-429-2837).

Additional source: Governor McAuliffe Unveils Spring Stewardship Virginia Campaign, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 3/28/14.

USED Grouper 3-14-13 May 3 06 From Parking lot 1
Riparian tree plantings, such as this one seen along Toms Creek in Blacksburg (Montgomery County) in March 2006, are one of the kinds of conservation projects promoted by Stewardship Virginia.

Virginia’s Natural Bridge Sold in February 2014; Intended to Become a Virginia State Park

On February 6, 2014, a transaction was recorded in Rockbridge County, Va., that transfers Virginia’s landmark Natural Bridge and some 1500 acres around it to the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund (VCLF), with the intention that the area will eventually become a Virginia state park.  Property-owner  Angelo Puglisi donated the bridge itself—a naturally formed arch of limestone, created by ages of water erosion, with an estimated value of $21 million—to the VCLF, a non-profit organization set up by Tom Clarke, owner of Kissito, a health-care organization in Roanoke (for more information on Kissito, please see http://www.kissito.org/).  Mr. Puglisi sold the rest of the property for $7 million in state tax credits (for a conservation easement to be placed on the property) and $8.6 million in cash from VCLF.  The property is to be transferred to the Commonwealth when the VCLF pays off a $9.1 million loan used for the transaction.  Mr. Clarke has stated that he intends to pay off that loan by December 2015.

Sources:  Natural Bridge sold, on path to become state park, Roanoke Times, 2/6/14; Natural Bridge sold, destined to be a park, Associated Press, as published in Charlottesville Daily Progress, 2/6/14; and Kissito’s Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund Purchases Virginia’s Natural Bridge, Kissito blog post, 2/6/14.

DSCF1018

Virginia’s Natural Bridge, Sept. 18, 2010.

Water in the 2014 Virginia General Assembly: Va. Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries Inventory of Boating, Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Bills

Below is a table of 2014 Virginia General Assembly bills concerning boating, fishing, fisheries, hunting, and wildlife, as compiled by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).  The list was accessed at that agency’s “General Assembly Legislation” Web page, http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/legislation/, on January 29, 2014.  VDGIF updates the list as new bills are introduced (the last day to introduce new bills into the 2014 session was January 17) and as action is taken on bills.  Thanks to the VDGIF for compiling this information and making it available. 

HB stands for House Bill, a measure introduced first in the House of Delegates; SB stands for Senate Bill, a measure introduced first in the State Senate.  For more information on any bill, click on the bill number to access the entry for that bill at the Virginia Legislative Information System (main page: http://lis.virginia.gov/lis.htm).  Click on any name under “Chief Patron” for more information about the delegate or senator who sponsored a given bill.

Bill

Chief Patron

Focus of Bill

Last Committee Action

(HACNR = House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee;
SACNR = to Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources)

HB127

Scott

Muzzleloading pistols; persons allowed to hunt big game.

 HACNR reported

HB307

Lingamfelter

Hunter safety education; after school programs for students in grades seven through 12.

House read 2nd time

HB376

Bulova

Spotlighting of deer; exemption from restrictions.

Referred to SACNR

HB650

Ransone

Boating safety course.

HACNR passed by for the week

HB715

Wright

Special archery license.

Referred to SANCR

HB735

Lingamfelter

Submerged bottomlands; posting of claim.

HACNR Subcommittee: Natural Resources tabled

HB857

Fariss

Hunting with a muzzle-loading rifle; blaze orange clothing.

HACNR reported

HB941

Surovell

Operating a vehicle or vessel containing a false compartment; penalty.

Referred to House Courts of Justice Committee

HB989

Cline

Senior discount for special license.

Referred to HACNR (Natural Resources subcommittee)

HB991

Cline

Hunting and fishing licenses for nonresident disabled veterans.

Referred to HACNR (Natural Resources subcommittee)

HB1042

Fariss

Use of certain muzzleloading pistols.

Stricken at the request of the patron

HB1121

Scott, E.

Composition of the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries.

HACNR Natural Resources subcommittee recommended reporting with substitute

HB1146

Fowler

Apprentice Hunters

HACNR reported

HB1175

Farrell

Special hunting and fishing license for disabled veterans

HACNR Natural Resources subcommittee tabled

HB1188

Albo

Animal Fighting

HACNR rereferred to House Courts of Justice

HB1237

Gilbert

Hunting on Sundays.

House passed.

HB1250

Ramadan

Hunting on Sundays.

Referred to HACNR Natural Resources Committee

HJ26

Landes

Law enforcement agencies; JLARC to study reorganizing functions under Virginia State Police.

Referred to House Rules Committee subcommittee: Studies

HJ29

Marshall, D.

Wild game; Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to study overpopulation in Commonwealth.

Referred to House Rules Committee subcommittee: Studies

SB9

Garrett

Coyotes; lawful to hunt or kill on Sundays.

Referred to SANCR

SB13

Garrett

Hunting dogs etc.; permission from landowner to retrieve from property.

Withdrawn at request of the patron

SB37

Howell

Conservation Police Officers; appointment by Director of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Passed Senate; referred to HACNR

SB42

Marsden

Fox or coyote; penalty for any person to erect or maintain an enclosure for purpose of hunting, etc.

Referred to SACNR

SB50

Martin

Endangered and threatened species.

Passed Senate; Referred to HACNR

SB52

Stuart

Boating safety course.

Referred to SACNR

SB123

Garrett

Wind energy projects; regulations to mitigate adverse effects of turbine blades on wildlife.

Defeated on Senate Floor

SB145

Stuart

Special fox hunting license.

Passed Senate; Referred to HACNR

SB154

Puckett

Hunting on Sundays.

Referred to SACNR

SB192

McDougle

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; appointment of certain sworn law-enforcement positions.

SACNR incorporated into SB37

SB234

Petersen

Operating a vehicle or vessel containing a false compartment; penalty.

Senate Courts of Justice carried over to 2015

SB258

Deeds

Law-enforcement consolidation plan.

SACNR carried over to 2015

SB371

McWaters

Terms of hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses and permits.

Passed Senate; Referred to HACNR

SB413

Hanger

Wildlife rehabilitators.

Senate read 2nd time

SB504

Wagner

Watercraft titling certificates; amendments to uniform act.

Passed Senate; Referred to HACNR

SB602

Stuart

Location of nonriparian blinds.

Senate read 2nd time

SB629

Marsden

Navigation on certain waters.

Senate read 2nd time

SJ36

Deeds

Study; JLARC to study consolidation of law enforcement agencies under Virginia State Police.

Senate Rules carried over to 2015

SJ63

Hanger

Study; Preserving the Virginia Bobwhite Quail; report.

Referred to Senate Rules Committee

SJ79

Ruff

Study; DGIF to study removal of prohibition of hunting over bait; report.

Referred to Senate Rules Committee

Climate Change and Plants in Focus at a March 1, 2014, Workshop in Richmond by the Virginia Native Plant Society

Plants and climate change will be the focus of a Virginia Native Plant Society workshop on March 1, 2014.  “Taking the Heat–A Look at Plants and Climate Change,”  will be held 9:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at Jepson Hall Auditorium on the campus of the University of Richmond.  Speakers will discuss research on how plants are being used to study climate change and how plant communities are being affected by changes to temperature, weather, and sea levels.  For more information, visit http://www.vnps.org, phone (540) 837-1600, or e-mail: vnpsofc@shentel.net.

Va. Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide for 2014, Virginia Wildlife Magazine Digital Archives, and More Available in January 8, 2014, Outdoor Report from Va. Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries

The latest “Outdoor Report” (1/8/14) from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) in now available at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/outdoor-report/2014/01/08/.

Each edition of the Outdoor Report is full of information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, boating, and other outdoor activities.  The sections of the 1/8/14 report are listed below, with hyperlinks to go to the individual items.

General Assembly Session Preparation, Student Outdoor-Writing Contest, Bass and Saltwater Fishing Expo in Caroline County in January 2014, and More Available in December 11, 2013, Outdoor Report from Va. Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries

The latest “Outdoor Report” (12/11/13) from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) in now available at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/outdoor-report/2013/12/11/.

Each edition of the Outdoor Report is full of information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, boating, and other outdoor activities.  The sections of the 12/11/13 report are listed below, with hyperlinks to go to the individual items.

Light Acorn Crop, Winter Preparedness Week Dec. 1-7, Fishin’ Report, and More Available in November 27, 2013, Outdoor Report from Va. Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries

The latest “Outdoor Report” (11/27/13) from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) in now available at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/outdoor-report/2013/11/27/.

Each edition of the Outdoor Report is full of information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, boating, and other outdoor activities.  The sections of the 11/27/13 report are listed below, with hyperlinks to go to the individual items.

Worldwide Forest Inventory for 2000-2012, via Satellite Imagery, Published in November 2013 in Journal Science

In November 2013, scientists from the University of Maryland, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Google, the State University of New York, Woods Hole Research Center, and South Dakota State University published a study of changes in the world’s forest cover between 2000 and 2012, based on satellite imagery that allows resolution down to 30 meters.  The study is “High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change” (by M.C. Hansen of the University of Maryland-College Park, with several co-authors), published in Science, Nov. 15, 2013.  A November 14, 2013, USGS news release, with a link to the published article, is available online at this link: Changes in World’s Forests Portrayed in High Definition.

Coastal Restoration and Resiliency are Goals of U.S. Dept. of Interior Grants Announced 10-24-13 of $162 Million for 42 Projects in States Affected by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012

On October 24, 2013, the U.S. Department of Interior announced awards of $162 million for 42 projects designed to protect coastlines from storm surges, such as the area experienced during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 (that storm made landfall on October 29, 2012).  The projects will seek to restore wetlands, rebuild beaches and shorelines, and provide tools for preparing for impacts of future storms.  A table of the 42 projects follows; projects in Virginia are listed first (agency abbreviations: FWS = U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; NPS = National Park Service; USGS = U.S. Geological Survey; BSEE = Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

Source:Secretary Jewell Announces $162 Million for 45 Projects to Protect Atlantic Coast Communities from Future Storms, U.S. Department of Interior News Release, 10/24/13.  Some local news accounts of the grants are the following: U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Local Officials Announce Dyke Marsh Restoration FundingGreater Alexandria Patch, 10/29/13; Chesapeake Bay Refuges Receive Federal Funding, WBOC 16 (Salisbury Md.) TV, 10/24/13; More than $12M in federal funds promised to help protect Maryland shoreline, The (Salisbury Md.) Daily Times, 10/24/13.

Project Title

State(s)

Lead Federal Agency

Federal Grant Amount

Aquatic Connectivity and Flood Resilience in VA: Replacing the Quantico Creek Culvert in Dumfries

VA

FWS

$330,750

Dyke Marsh Restoration to Promote Resource Protection from Storm Response and Adaptation to Sea Level Rise

VA

NPS

$24,897,600

Increasing Water Management Capability at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to Enhance Its Resiliency for Wildlife and People

VA

FWS

$3,130,000

Decision Support for Hurricane Sandy Restoration and Future Conservation to Increase Resiliency of Beach Habitats and Beach-Dependent Species in the Face of Storms and Sea Level Rise

CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA

FWS

$1,750,000

Decision Support for Hurricane Sandy Restoration and Future Conservation to Increase Resiliency of Tidal Wetland Habitats and Species in the Face of Storms and Sea Level Rise

CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA

FWS

$2,200,000

Enhance Storm Tide Monitoring, Data Recovery, and Data Display Capabilities

CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA

USGS

$2,200,000

Storm Surge Science Evaluations to Improve Models, Vulnerability Assessments, and Storm Surge Predictions

CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA

USGS

$1,500,000

Resilience of the Tidal Marsh Bird Community to Hurricane Sandy and Assessment of Restoration Efforts

CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA

FWS

$1,573,950

Topographic Surveys: Lidar Elevation Data

CT, DE, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA

USGS

$4,050,000

Evaluating Ecosystem Resilience: Assessing wetland ecosystem functions and processes in response to Hurricane Sandy impacts

CT, DE, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, RI, VA

USGS

$1,240,000

Coastal Barrier Resources System Comprehensive Map Modernization – Supporting Coastal Resiliency and Sustainability following Hurricane Sandy

CT, DE, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VA

FWS

$5,000,000

A Stronger Coast: Three USFWS Region 5 multi-National Wildlife Refuge projects to increase coastal resilience and preparedness

CT, DE, MA, ME, NJ, NY, RI, VA

FWS

$2,060,000

Forecasting Biological Vulnerabilities: Building and delivering data visualization, multiscale datasets, and models of reduced biological systems resilience to future storms in support of informed natural-resource decisionmaking

CT, DE, MD, NC, NJ, NY, RI, VA

USGS

$1,025,000

Building a predictive model for submerged aquatic vegetation prevalence and salt marsh resiliency in the face of Hurricane Sandy and sea level rise

CT, DE, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VA

FWS

$217,000

Restoring Coastal Marshes in New Jersey National Wildlife Refuges

NJ, VA

FWS

$15,000,000

Estuarine physical response to storms

DE, MD, NJ, NY, VA

USGS

$2,200,000

Barrier Island and Estuarine Wetland Physical Change Assessment

DE, MD, NJ, VA

USGS

$1,350,000

Linking Coastal Processes and Vulnerability – Assateague Island Regional Study

DE, MD, NY, VA

USGS

$4,000,000

Acquire high-resolution elevation data to improve storm surge forecasting and mitigation planning

MD, NJ, NY, VA

NPS

$3,000,000

Living Shoreline-Oyster Reef Restoration and Construction at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia

MD, VA

FWS

$553,425

Aquatic Connectivity and Flood Resilience: Flock Process Dam Removal, Norwalk River, Norwalk, CT

CT

FWS

$970,000

Aquatic Connectivity and Flood Resilience: Hyde Pond Dam Removal, Whitford Brook, Mystic, CT

CT

FWS

$551,250

Aquatic Connectivity and Flood Resilience: Norton Mill Dam Removal, Jeremy River, Colchester, CT

CT

FWS

$727,650

Aquatic Connectivity and Flood Resilience: Pond Lily Dam Removal, West River, New Haven, CT

CT

FWS

$661,500

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Tidal Marsh /Barrier Beach Restoration

DE

FWS

$19,805,000

Aquatic Connectivity and Flood Resilience: West Britannia and Whittenton Dam Removals, Mill River, Taunton, MA Connectivity

MA

FWS

$650,000

Muddy Creek Wetland Restoration Project

MA

FW

$3,762,000

Parkers Tidal Restoration Project

MA

FWS

$3,718,000

Round Hill Salt Marsh Restoration Project

MA

FWS

$2,277,000

Submerged Marine Habitat Mapping: A foundation for enhancing resilience to coastal storms and other climate change drivers

MA, MD, NJ, NY

NPS

$2,400,000

Restoring resiliency to the Great Marsh, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts

MA, ME

FWS

$340,000

Aquatic Connectivity and Flood Resilience in MD: Removing the Centreville Dam in Centreville and the Bloede Dam in Catonsville

MD

FWS

$1,212,750

Fog Point Living Shoreline Restoration, Martin National Wildlife Refuge

MD

FWS

$9,000,000

Hail Cove Living Shoreline Restoration, Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge

MD

FWS

$1,550,000

Ferry Point, Nanticoke River – Pocomoke Sound Marsh Enhancement

MD

FWS

$638,000

Aquatic Connectivity & Flood Resilience in NJ: Removing the Hughsville Dam in Pohatcong & Restoring the Wreck Pond Inlet and Dune in Sea Girt and Spring Lake

NJ

FWS

$3,050,000

Gandy’s Beach Shoreline Protection Project, Downe Township, Cumberland County, NJ

NJ

FWS

$880,000

Increase Resilience of Beach Habitat at Pierce’s Point, Reed’s Beach, and Moore’s Beach, New Jersey

NJ

FWS

$1,650,000

Ohmsett Wind and Storm Surge Damage Prevention

NJ

BSEE

$4,000,000

Evaluate ecological impacts of breaching on estuarine habitats

NY

NPS

$900,000

Linking Coastal Processes and Vulnerability – Fire Island Regional Study

NY

USGS

4,800,000

Provide Support for the Science and Resilience Center at Jamaica Bay

NY

NPS

$3,600,000

Salt Marsh Restoration and Enhancement at Seatuck, Werthein and Lido Beach National Wildlife Refuges, Long Island, NY

NY

FWS

$11,093,000

Aquatic Connectivity and Flood Resilience in CT and RI: Removing the White Rock and Bradford Dams and Assessing the Potter Hill Dam Fishway on the Pawcatuck River & Removing the Shady Lea Mill Dam in North Kingstown

RI, CT

FWS

$2,294,250

Protecting Property and Helping Coastal Wildlife: Enhancing Salt marsh and Estuarine Function and Resiliency for Key Habitats on Impacted Wildlife Refuges from Rhode Island to southern Maine

RI, ME, MA

FWS

$4,150,000