43 results for author: Jake Leizear


See How Climate is Changing at the County Level

The Bay Journal reported recently on a new tool displaying climate changes at the county level for most of the Chesapeake watershed and the northeast US. An interactive map allows the user to hover over a county and see trends in temperature, precipitation and growing season. The patterns are pretty clear. As Bay Journal notes: "climate data ranging from 1950-2013 in each county underscores that the vast majority of the watershed is getting hotter and rainier." A few examples cited by the Journal: In Franklin County in south-central Pennsylvania, the average annual temperature has risen at a rate of 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit per decade ...

Virginia Governor Signs Order to Address Climate Threats

Last Friday (November 2), Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order setting out steps to improve resiliency to sea-level rise and natural hazards associated with climate change. Perhaps the most significant element of the order is the directive to complete and implement a "Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan." The plan, to be developed by the Chief Resilience Officer in consultation with local governments, state and federal agencies and non-governmental stakeholders, has several required standards. Among those related to land conservation is that the plan must "employ natural and nature-based solutions to the maximum extent ...

One Billion for Land and Ocean Conservation

Today's New York Times includes an opinion piece by philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss in which he pledges to donate $1 billion over the next decade to land and ocean conservation. Wyss is motivated by both the negative--the startling ongoing loss of biodiversity--and the positive--the growing movement around the nation and the globe to protect the planet. He seeks to "accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts around the world, with the goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030." Wyss states "this money will support locally led conservation efforts around the world, push for increased global targets for land and ocean ...

Key Fones Cliffs Property Under Contract for Conservation

The Bay Journal reports The Conservation Fund and landowner Terrell Bowers confirmed last week that Bowers' 250 acre property on Fones Cliffs is under contract for conservation. Bowers had approval to develop the property into 47 residential housing units and, more recently, was seeking a re-zoning to allow 10-story condominiums. Fones Cliffs is a significant cultural and scenic landscape along the Rappahannock River. It lies within the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge and along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. The cliffs also lie in the heart of a globally-significant Important Bird Area, designated ...

Please Send Conservation Success Stories!

The Chesapeake Conservation Partnership is assembling success stories for a "State of Chesapeake Conservation" report--and we need your help! We are looking for your best conservation success stories of the last twelve months -- the Chesapeake watershed conservation results of which you are most proud. They could be big acquisitions or easements, or smaller ones that were a key priority. Or it could be an adoption of a key conservation policy. Or perhaps a new public access site. Don't hold back. Help us out and tell your story. It's easy! Here's all we need: A link to an existing press release or article describing the success OR a short ...

Proposed IRS Rule Change Threatens Land Conservation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is proposing a new rule that would have a significant negative impact on land conservation, especially in Virginia. The proposal would change past IRS guidance and treat all state tax credits issued for a donation as quid pro quo (essentially a "payment"). As a result, the donor's federal income tax deduction would need to be reduced by the value of the credit. This is not just about land conservation. The proposed rule will impact approximately 100 different state tax credit programs nationally. But in the Chesapeake watershed it would dramatically influence Virginia's Land Preservation Tax Credit that fuels ...

2018 Photo Contests Illustrate Conservation Values

Every year Chesapeake organizations and public agencies sponsor photo contests challenging the public to capture the most compelling images of public lands, wildlife and special places. The results are pretty spectacular. Here's a sampling of a few of this year's contests and where you can see the winning images: Maryland Department of Natural Resources just announced their 2018 winners this week and their are some stunners. Virginia State Parks "Get Outdoors" 2018 winners came out in July. Take a look. Scenic Virginia also sponsors a "Virginia Vistas" contest; the 2018 winners are published here in the Richmond Times Dispatch. ...

Maryland Expands Rural Legacy Program

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently announced $25 million in Rural Legacy Program grants and the creation of new and expanded Rural Legacy Areas. Maryland's Rural Legacy Program "provides funding to preserve large, contiguous tracts of land and to enhance natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection while supporting a sustainable land base for natural resource based industries." State grant funds support acquisition of conservation easements or fee simple purchases from willing sellers within the 32 designated Rural Legacy Areas within Maryland. Among the actions approved recently is the creation of a ...

New Report Issued on Landscape Scale Conservation

The Network for Landscape Conservation just issued a new report -- Pathways Forward: Progress and Priorities in Landscape Conservation. It's well worth reading. Here in the Chesapeake watershed, we have working at landscape scales for years -- the Chesapeake Bay Program on water quality and other values; the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership on land conservation across the whole watershed; and partnership members on regional landscapes within the broader Chesapeake -- like the Piedmont, the Eastern Shore, the Potomac River, Pennsylvania Wilds, and many more. The new report profiles some Chesapeake work and includes images of a few of our ...

New Land Protection to Provide Habitat & Recreation

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced last week it will acquire a new wildlife management area in Queen Anne's County on the upper Eastern Shore. The 1,172 acre property will support habitat conservation and outdoor recreation. “This acquisition is an exciting win for both conservation advocates as well as outdoor enthusiasts,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “This large and incredibly beautiful property on the Upper Eastern Shore will protect ecologically-sensitive habitat while providing the public an excellent location for outdoor recreation, especially hunting or trapping.” Maryland Program ...