RICHMOND, VA. (AP) - Virginia protected 26,375 acres of open space in 2012.
The protected acres included 1 mile of native brook trout stream in the city of Covington and portions of a public hiking trail that border the George Washington National Forest.
The Virginia Outdoors Federation was established by the General Assembly in 1966 to encourage the preservation of natural and cultural heritage lands. The 2012 easements include about 120 miles of streams, 11,000 acres of high-quality farmland and 1,700 acres along scenic roads and byways.
In all, the federation protects about 675,000 acres in 107 localities. About 75% of that acreage is within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The easements typically involved agreements between private landowners and land trusts. Landowners who donate easements can receive state and federal tax breaks.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.