The Northern Neck Land Conservancy is a small non-profit land trust on the Northern Neck of Virginia, a peninsula located between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers and bordering the Chesapeake Bay. Water surrounds our area and in order to keep it bountiful and safe for fishing, crabbing, swimming and drinking, we need a clean environment with protected stream banks, expansive woodlands, attentive farming and citizens who choose to safeguard the environment from pollutants. We help landowners who want to voluntarily protect their lands with permanent conservation easements to ensure that their property sustains the rural character of the Northern Neck and maintains a healthy environment for future generations.

NNLC Board Toasts the Conservation of Ditchley!

 

On December 6, 2017, the NNLC Board and staff along with Natural Resources and Conservation Services District Conservationist, Debbie Bullock, and property owner, Cathy Calhoun, celebrated the partnership and funding that helped protect this treasure in Northumberland County. The group enjoyed an advance batch of “Rivah Cidah” produced onsite.

Conservancy Celebrated the Great Outdoors at Annual Event

An intact landscape of working farms, managed forests and wild marshlands and river shore make the Northern Neck and Essex County one of the Atlantic Flyway’s most important wintering grounds for waterfowl.

In recognition of that fact and in celebration the great outdoors and of the landowners who maintain the region’s rural character, the Northern Neck Land Conservancy showcased the sporting tradition at its annual Boots and Barbecue.

“Dogs, Decoys and Doubles” was the theme of the Sunday, Sept. 24 event:

— Local dog trainer Fritz Wildt will conducted two retrieving demonstrations using Labrador and Chesapeake Bay retrievers owned by several Northern Neck outdoorsmen.

— Nationally-known duck decoy carvers, Wade Johnson, of Warsaw, and Clarence “Juice” McKenney, of Mt. Holly, joined two other local artists to show how they carve award-winning replicas of ducks and geese from wood. Johnson and McKenney have won many Best-in-Show awards at major decoy competitions in the U.S. Rev. Willard Bowen and Brandon Sanders, both of Richmond County,also demonstrated carving techniques.

— Larry Sisson, of Essex County, displayed some of the historically-important antique duck and goose decoys he has collected from the Chesapeake Bay region.

Some of his wooden decoys are a century old. His collection includes birds by the Ward Brothers, Madison Mitchell and Capt. Jesse Urie—familiar names to local hunters who used handmade decoys until plastic decoys began being mass-produced in the 1960s.

The old decoys went from being regarded as mere tools to folk art in the span of a generation: “People kind of thought I’d lost my mind” Sisson said when he began his hunt for old decoys in the 1960s.

— And, the North American division of Italian gunmaker, Fausti, located in Fredericksburg, displayed an array of the company’s hand-crafted double-barrel shotguns that are works of art in steel and polished walnut.

“Nothing like this has ever been presented before on the Northern Neck,” said conservancy president Lawrence Latane. “But many of us here have preserved land precisely because of our love of waterfowl and wildlife and our connection with it either through hunting or bird watching or both.”

The Northern Neck Land Conservancy works with landowners in King George, Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland, Lancaster and Essex counties who are interested in preserving farmland and open space forever through state-sanctioned conservation easements. Easements limit development on the properties in exchange for credits that can be applied against state and federal taxes or sold for cash.

Easements are receiving increased attention on the Northern Neck where 32,000 acres in five counties are permanently protected as open space and farmland. Landowners in Essex have preserved 23,250 acres over the past several years making Essex the 10th-ranking county in Virginia in acreage under easement protection.

The conservancy added about 2500 acres of easements on the Northern Neck over the past two years.

This year’s Boots and Barbecue was held at Grove Mount Farm, home of Fran and Kirwan King just off St. Rt. 624 in Richmond County near Warsaw. The food and beer, wine and fried oysters and barbecue dinner (prepared by Brian Oliff, of Angelo’s Restaurant, in Montross) , were just wonderful.

Next year's event will be held on September 23, 2018.

The NNLC Is Awarded Accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance

seal

The Northern Neck Land Conservancy is in the top 5% of land trusts in the United States and in Virginia whom have earned the Accreditation seal of approval!

The Northern Neck Land Conservancy is now a nationally recognized accredited land trust. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission was incorporated in April 2006 as an independent program of The Land Trust Alliance. The Commission operates a land trust accreditation program which builds and recognizes strong land trusts, fosters public confidence in land conservation and helps ensure the long-term protection of land. It conducts a thorough and extensive review of a land trust's documents, easement projects, finances, bylaws and procedures. Completion of the process allowed the NNLC to achieve external verification that it is meeting national quality standards and the accreditation seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.

For more information regarding the process click here.