43 results for author: Jake Leizear


Popularity of State Parks Continues to Grow

State parks in Chesapeake states are attracting more and more visitors. A number of parks actually fill up early on many summer days and have to turn people away. Virginia state parks reported a record level of over ten million visitors in 2016. Pennsylvania state parks topped forty million that same year. In Maryland, state park visitation has increased by forty percent since 2009. A story in the Washington Post last week reports on the challenges and the needs at Maryland state parks. Last year gates at heavily used parks had to be closed 122 times due to reaching capacity. The good news is that more people are viewing and using parks ...

Revisions to National Environmental Policy Act?

The Council on Environmental Quality has announced that procedures for carrying out theNational Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will be updated. Public comments are invited on the proposed review through Monday, August 20. Since 1970, this Act has been the cornerstone for ensuring federal agencies evaluate the impacts of their actions on the human environment and consider a range of alternatives. For a quick overview of NEPA’s importance see this blog post from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Chesapeake Conservation Partnership member. Federal agencies are generally required to review all sorts of projects under NEPA, ...

Ways for Visualizing How We Use Land

It's often difficult to grasp broader patterns of land use on a landscape. And yet we need to understand -- and communicate -- how much land is being used for what general function. It's perhaps even harder to do this when looking at the lower 48 states as a whole -- a "1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their economy and extract value for business and pleasure." Bloomberg recently published a series of fourteen maps depicting how America uses its land. Take a look and scroll through the fascinating set of visualizations. These images make us think of how we may ...

Communicating Landscape Values

Some of you may have seen this compelling video Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) produced in collaboration with Academy Award winning actor Robert Duvall. But we're guessing not all of you. Plus, it's always worth a re-watch. Take the thirty seconds. The video stands out to us because of the landscape values Duvall's words and the images communicate. It folds in the multi-faceted values the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership has embraced since the outset. Plus, it is personal testimony and a call to action to help conserve the Piedmont landscape. As the Partnership begins an initiative this fall to frame messages supporting land ...

Costing Out Lost Real Estate Value Due to Sea Level Rise

Coastal inundation from sea level rise is a serious issue in many locations along the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. A recent article profiles how Hampton Virginia is dealing with being at the front lines of the issue. New studies are beginning to assess the direct impact of coastal flooding on real estate values. Scientists with the First Street Foundation used publicly available data to calculate $7.4 billion in lost real estate values in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia between 2005 and 2017 -- because of coastal inundation. The team analyzed 5.5 million real estate transactions. This is reported to ...

US Court of Appeals Vacates Key Pipeline Approvals

The three hundred mile Mountain Valley Pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia has drawn a lot of attention from those concerned with the impacts of energy infrastructure on landscape values in our region. On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled the U.S Forest Service failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act when allowing the Mountain Valley Pipeline to go forward on federal lands. Further, the court ruled the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) did not fulfill its requirements under the Minerals Leasing Act. The panel of federal judges vacated both the Forest ...

Diversity in the Outdoors

Like many organizations, corporations, and agencies in the conservation field, the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership wrestles with the compelling need to better reflect the diversity of America within our ranks. The U.S. is 38% minority today. The conservation field is far behind that. But there is a growing movement to be more inclusive and to recognize the importance of the outdoors among all peoples. Here's a Chesapeake example of engaging more folks outdoors. The Potomac Conservancy, a Partnership member, hosts a series of summertime "alternative happy hours" to get people paddling on the Potomac. The after-work events, carried out with ...

What’s Next in Conservation? Biodiversity, says E.O. Wilson

Last week was the annual Esri User Conference, bringing together geographers, GIS (geographic information system) experts, conservationists and others from around the world -- including a number of folks from the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership. In preparing for the conference, Esri CEO Jack Dangermond interviewed Edward O. Wilson, the great naturalist, scientist, thinker and conservationist, about what's next for inspiring conservation. Wilson's answer is direct: biodiversity. Take five minutes to watch this video of two visionaries. E.O. Wilson's impact on how we understand the planet and its species is hard to overstate. He is consid...

Explore the Pennsylvania Wilds, a Great Conservation Landscape

Mostly within the Chesapeake watershed lies "one of the largest expanses of green between New York City and Chicago." The Pennsylvania Wilds, a conservation landscape launched in 2003 with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), encompasses more than two million acres of public lands. It's a great story. Take three minutes to watch this video. Here's how the Wilds describes the landscape: "Once the former lumber capital of the world, the region is home to ... 50 state game lands, 29 state parks, 8 state forests, 2 National Wild & Scenic Rivers, abundant wildlife, hundreds of miles of land and water trails, ...

Concerns over Possible Impacts to Views from Mount Vernon

Proposed energy infrastructure projects continue to raise concerns about impacts to scenic, historic and other resources in highly valued landscapes. One of the latest involves Mount Vernon and a Dominion Energy proposal for a natural gas compressor station in Charles County, Maryland. Officials at Mount Vernon, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and others expressed concern the development would intrude on views from the national historic landmark, located on the Virginia side of the Potomac. Here's the good news, at least for the time being: the Washington Post reported last week that Dominion Energy and Mount Vernon have agreed to ...