“Virginia Treasures” Strategy for Land Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Announced April 22, 2015, by Gov. McCauliffe

Following are the hyperlinked headline and an excerpt from the Virginia Governor’s Office’s Apr. 22, 2015, news release on the launch of Virginia Treasures, a new land-conservation and outdoor-recreation strategy.  The Web site for Virginia Treasures is http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/virginia-treasures.shtml.  Other Governor’s Office news releases are online at https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/news-releases/.

Governor McAuliffe Announces Major Conservation Initiative, 4/22/15.
Excerpt: “Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the launch of Virginia Treasures, the Commonwealth’s new strategy for conserving land and expanding access to public outdoor recreation. … The administration’s goal is to identify, conserve, and protect at least 1,000 treasures by the end of the governor’s term. 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.

“Governor McAuliffe [also] announced a new Virginia Treasure at Pocahontas State Park: a monarch butterfly garden. The garden will provide native plants and grasses for monarchs and other pollinators as part of an initiative to restore the monarch population, which has been on the decline due to the loss of food sources and habitat. …

“The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is the lead agency charged with tracking Virginia Treasures. Multiple state agencies, land trusts, local governments and private groups are involved in the initiative.”

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