Land that includes rolling apple orchards in Rockingham and Shenandoah counties has permanently been preserved.
The Land Trust of Virginia announced Wednesday two nearly contiguous conservation easements in Rockingham and Shenandoah counties. The Rockingham County property is the first for the Land Trust of Virginia to hold an easement, officials said.
The easements are owned by the Bowman family, according to the Land Trust of Virginia. The 342-acre and 165 acre properties have agricultural uses, including apples, corn and cattle.
The Bowman properties are nearby to protected lands that include three other conservation easements, and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.
The properties combined contain 395 acres of "Prime Farmland Soils" or "Farmland Soils of Statewide Importance," 51 acres of forest, 1,956 feet of Fort Run stream bed, and 2,435 feet of Holmans Creek, officials said.
"This is the first time we have completed two easements at once for a family and we were thrilled to do so," said Land Trust of Virginia Executive Director Ashton Cole in a statement. "The Bowman family is one of the largest producers of apples in the Shenandoah Valley. We hope their conservation leadership will encourage others to make this same generous choice to protect their working farmlands forever."
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