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Healing Waters Plan

Achieving our mission through our “Healing Waters Land Prioritization Plan” a green infrastructure approach to land protection?

This plan identifies the most ecologically rich and economically beneficial areas of our Valley to protect and targets neighboring parcels to form blocks of conservation hubs and corridors.

What is Green Infrastructure?

Protecting Hubs and Corridors [Click to enlarge PDF]

Protecting Hubs and Corridors [Click to enlarge PDF]

Green infrastructure is strategically planned and managed networks of natural lands, working landscapes and other open spaces that conserve ecosystem values and functions and provide associated benefits to human populations.

What are hubs and corridors and why are they important to conservation of our Valley?

The Cacapon and Lost River Valley is rich in natural resources such as forests, productive soils, rivers, springs and wetlands. This natural capital is important to the economic viability as well as the ecological viability of the local community. By ensuring blocks of land remain available for farming and forestry, we are helping to protect the economic infrastructure associated with farms, forests and tourism in our region.

Hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing are strong local and rural traditions. By maintaining large blocks of undeveloped lands the biodiversity, genetic diversity and health of both game and nongame species will be protected.

How does it work?

“Neighbors talking to neighbors” has been the most effective pathway to protecting large blocks of land in the watershed. It takes just one person to start the ball rolling. Often when neighbors learn that adjacent properties will be protected from large scale development in the future, they are more comfortable making the decision to protect their own land.

Right now, the Trust is working to expand hub/corridor complexes that connect publicly protected lands via privately protected lands.

Hubs are large blocks of natural areas that provide habitat for plant and animal life. They include large protected areas, such as state and federal lands that are managed for natural and recreational values and private farms and forests that remain in a predominantly open. Large contiguous blocks of interior forest are an essential component of the network.

Corridors are the linear features that tie hubs together and they may include river and stream valley corridors and forested upland corridors.