The Nature Conservancy announced that the City of Fredericksburg completed a conservation easement preserving approximately 4,232 acres of city-owned land along the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers. The conservation easement is co-held by The Nature Conservancy, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).
These riparian forests, which stretch upstream through five counties, provide natural protection of Fredericksburg’s water supply. But with more than a million people living within 30 miles of the property—and with two surrounding counties ranked among the nation’s fastest growing—these river lands face unprecedented development pressures. In addition to protecting more than 32 miles of riverfront along the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers, and 26 miles of land along their tributaries, this 4,232-acre conservation easement abuts the 4,539-acre C.F. Phelps Wildlife Management Area, originally purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 1975 and transferred to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in 1976.