Conservation Almanac




Virginia Profile of State Programs and Policy Framework

Highlighted Local Programs


Highlighted State Programs


State Policy Framework



To avoid double counting acres where multiple programs contributed to the acquisition of a single parcel, the acreage is only aggregated under the program that provided the majority of funding. For example, if the table below displays a dollar amount greater than $0 for a given year but shows 0 acres, the program was not the primary contributor for any parcels in that year. As a result, a prolific program may show very low acreage figures on this page. To see customized program information please visit the map viewer tab or contact the Conservation Almanac Team.

Highlighted Local Programs

Local Conservation Programs Include:

Stafford County, VA

Fairfax, VA

Henrico County, VA

James City County, VA

The Conservation Almanac also captures “local program data” when a municipal jurisdiction partnered with a state or federal entity on the acquisition of a property.

2014 451.0 $1,792,550
2013 771.4 $3,852,973
2012 1,190.5 $6,954,294
2011 927.1 $628,847
2010 2,536.7 $3,454,040
2009 253.2 $4,716,642
2008 3,188.9 $12,888,545
2007 501.8 $8,683,054
2006 239.4 $6,031,127
2005 42.7 $3,801,552
2004 44.1 $8,259,000
2003 382.0 $2,592,369
2002 203.4 $2,589,390
2001 26.4 $104,875
2000 16.1 $17,466
1999 2.7 $130,582
Totals 10,777.4 $66,497,310

Highlighted State Programs

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

The Department of Conservation and Recreation acquires land for state parks and state Natural Area Preserve lands. Funding is made available through annual legislative appropriations, general obligation bonds approved by the voters in 1992 and 2002, and the Open Space Recreation and Conservation Fund, which is funded by voluntary contributions of income tax refunds.

2013 7.0 $35,964
2012 1,300.0 $1,000,000
2009 1,195.0 $5,209,710
2008 533.0 $8,277,054
2007 353.0 $1,831,522
2006 437.7 $4,316,821
2005 141.0 $432,051
2004 306.8 $1,175,000
2002 148.0 $137,415
2001 1,494.0 $2,331,511
2000 849.0 $930,075
1999 459.0 $727,688
1998 1,246.0 $1,219,458
Total8,469.5 $27,624,272

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is responsible for the management of inland fisheries, wildlife, and recreational boating for the Commonwealth. The agency receives cash from transfers directed to the Game Protection Fund from the General Fund of the state. The transfers come from the collection of Watercraft Sales and Use Taxes (Code of Virginia § 58.1-1410) and from sales taxes collected on outdoor-related goods and equipment, which were allocated to the Game Protection Fund beginning in 2000 and are often referred to as "HB38" funds (Code of Virginia § 58.1-638E). The amount of funds transferred as a result of HB38 is based on the figures of expenditures in Virginia associated with hunting, fishing, and other wildlife-associated recreation (wildlife watching, wildlife photography, etc.) calculated every five years in the national survey of hunting, fishing, and wildlife-associated recreation. The most recent survey was completed in 2011 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. The specific amount transferred to the agency is often modified by language in the Budget Bill. The Budget Bill also identifies specific transfers out (such as central service fees).

In FY 2014, license sales accounted for 42.2 percent of DGIF’s net receipts, while 25.4 percent came from federal grants (including Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux), 23.3 percent came from transfers to the Game Protection Fund, 4.4 percent came from boat registration and titling, and 4.4 percent came from other sources such as magazine subscriptions, wildlife conservationist license plates and timber sales.

2012 0.0 $290,000
2010 2.0 $2,570,679
2008 189.2 $869,997
2005 6,605.0 $7,574,938
2002 0.0 $46,401
2001 7,582.0 $3,086,745
2000 8.3 $6,600
Total14,386.5 $14,445,360

Virginia Land Conservation Foundation

1999The General Assembly and governor established the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF) in 1999. VLCF manages the Virginia Land Conservation Fund, which gets its funding from the state’s annual budget. The Department of Conservation and Recreation provides staff and administrative support. Grants are awarded to help fund the purchase of permanent conservation easements, open spaces, parklands, lands of historic or cultural significance, farmlands, forests, and natural areas. State agencies, local governments, public bodies, and registered (tax-exempt) nonprofit groups are eligible to receive matching grants from the foundation.. An Interagency Taskforce reviews and recommends grant applications to the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation. Grants are awarded based on applications for 50 percent or less of total project costs. In both FY 2015 and FY 2016, $1 million dollars was appropriated to VLCF.

2014 0.0 $61,250
2013 981.0 $820,676
2012 3,563.6 $1,974,509
2011 4,328.0 $2,550,278
2010 1,811.9 $4,908,118
2009 2,250.9 $7,823,467
2008 720.0 $2,745,069
2007 471.6 $2,184,746
2006 1,221.6 $5,205,386
2005 0.0 $1,086,685
2004 228.0 $1,241,871
2003 8,434.0 $122,827
2002 911.0 $1,178,454
2001 508.6 $1,993,752
2000 1,583.0 $3,604,816
Total27,013.3 $37,501,908

Virginia Public Building Authority

The Virginia Public Building Authority (VPBA) provides financing for state projects, facilities, and obligations approved by the General Assembly. The VPBA is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth that is authorized to issue bonds. Virginia Public Building Authority bonds were issued for land conservation in 2002 and 2008.

2013 1.0 $57,766
2012 0.0 $89,429
2011 0.0 $140,535
2010 8,647.0 $7,500,000
2009 11,624.0 $22,167,090
2008 224.0 $154,931
2007 0.0 $152,500
2006 1,390.1 $6,504,376
2005 417.0 $1,738,341
2004 2,299.0 $2,710,151
2003 189.0 $389,482
Total24,791.1 $41,604,606

Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund

The Virginia General Assembly provided funding for the preservation of Civil War battlefield properties beginning in 2006 through grants administered by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Legislation formalizing that grant program, the Civil War Site Preservation Fund, was enacted by the General Assembly in 2009 as and has been funded every year since. With 123 Civil War battlefields in Virginia encompassing thousands of acres, nonprofit battlefield preservation organizations and local governments compete each year for grants from the Fund. The grants may be used independently or as a powerful match for federal battlefield preservation grants to acquire battlefield land in fee simple or to acquire a conservation easement over battlefield land that will remain in private ownership. Regardless of the nature of the transaction, a condition of the Fund is that a conservation easement tailored to protect the historic and battlefield resources present must be conveyed to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources, which was created by the General Assembly in 1966. The Fund was expanded by legislation approved in 2015 to include sites associated with the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 and was renamed the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund.

2014 517.4 $999,224
2013 2,016.7 $2,324,649
2012 1,459.9 $2,396,400
2011 338.2 $366,600
2010 153.6 $828,149
2009 841.2 $2,440,638
2008 272.5 $1,652,675
2007 292.8 $299,635
2006 208.1 $300,000
Total6,100.3 $11,607,970

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Office of Farmland Protection

In 2001, the General Assembly created the Office of Farmland Preservation within the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). In 2008, the program was expanded to include the responsibility of allocating state matching funds to local purchase of development rights programs. The 2007 budget provided the $4.25 million in state matching funds for the 2006-2008 biennium. An additional $4.43 million has been allocated since that time. Allocations for FY 2015 and FY 2016 are currently $1 million each year.

2014 0.0 $761,799
2013 0.0 $1,094,670
2012 0.0 $304,719
2011 0.0 $409,277
2010 48.6 $2,962,152
2009 0.0 $597,857
2008 0.0 $988,562
Total48.6 $7,119,038

Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Open Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund

The General Assembly created the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) in 1966 (Va. Code Section 10.1-1800). VOF’s mission is “to promote the preservation of open-space lands and to encourage private gifts of money, securities, land or other property to preserve the natural, scenic, historic, scientific, open-space and recreational areas of the Commonwealth.” A portion of VOF’s operating expenses are funded by annual appropriations from the General Assembly. Donations, interest income, and recordation fees fund the rest of the Foundation's work in localities where VOF has an open-space easement fund. The 1997 Virginia General Assembly created the Open Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund (Va. Code Sections 10.1 – 1801.1), to assist landowners with the costs of conveying open-space easements and the purchase of all or part of the value of the easements. The Preservation Trust Fund is administered by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, and the fund receives 25% of the Virginia Land Conservation Fund’s grant money. VOF holds most of the easements obtained under the Land Conservation Tax Incentives Program. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation is not currently included in the Conservation Almanac; however, The Trust for Public Land does have some information available on the program’s activity. Please contact us if you’re interested in obtaining more information.

Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund - Land Conservation Loan Program

During the 2003 session, the Virginia General Assembly amended Chapter 22 of the Code of Virginia by adding §62.1-229.3. The new code section further expanded the activities of the Virginia Water Facilities Revolving Fund by allowing the State Water Control Board to authorize low interest loans from the fund for acquisition of title or other rights to real property, provided that the State Water Control Board is satisfied that the acquisition would protect or improve water quality and prevent pollution of state waters. According to the enabling legislation, the fund’s financing for land acquisition can only be available in fiscal years when there is a balance remaining after the fund has satisfied all eligible loan requests from local governments.**

Data for the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund is not currently included in the Conservation Almanac; however, The Trust for Public Land does have some information available on the program’s activity. Please contact us if you’re interested in obtaining more information.

*Va. Code, 1950, as amended, Sec. 58.1 - 638 5.E).

State Policy Framework

Substantial State Investment

Enable Local Financing

State Incentive for Local Land Conservation

Public-Private Partnerships

Conservation Tax Credits

Federal Partnerships

Some data was not provided on a yearly basis, but rather as an aggregate figure. In this case we have distributed total acres acquired and/or dollars spent evenly by year.