Welcome to the Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust, a Nationally Accredited Land Trust

According to the Land Trust Alliance, 'every 30 seconds, the United States loses a football field of natural lands to roads, houses, pipelines and other development. Since 1970, North America has lost 3 billion birds — 29% of its avian population. Forty acres of farmland in the United States are lost to development every hour.'

These heart wrenching statistics can be really discouraging. And yet, as Kim Elliman, President of the Open Space Institute recently wrote "land conservation is an optimistic enterprise" and "land protection offers hope ..."

To me, that hope resides in the love people have for their land and the recognition that good stewardship provides hope for the health of wildlife, water quality and our own souls.

William L. Chesnutt is someone who knew something about love of land. According to his family, Bill had a deep, abiding love of the Cacapon River. When he and his wife Lorna discovered the river in 1979, they quickly bought a piece of land and built a cabin. In the words of his family, "that cabin became their home away from home for the next 40 years.

That land and the Cacapon River became the crux of events and led to lifelong memories for them, their children, and grandchildren as well as their wide circle of friends. Early on Bill started hosting an annual canoe trip weekends on the Cacapon River for his faculty, family, and friends, which continues to this day."

Bill Chesnutt fishing on the Cacapon River

Because of Bill's love for the Cacapon, his family has asked that donations in his honor be sent to the Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust Legacy Fund for the purpose of protecting land. That kind of love offers me hope that we will achieve more land protection in this beautiful watershed because of people like Bill and his family and friends.

A legacy gift supports land protection in the Cacapon watershed.

Learn more about legacy gifts

Jennifer Jones
Executive Director


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Dustin Wichterman and daughter, Brooklynn, fishing. Photo by Josh Duplechain, Trout Unlimited

Trust Accomplishments

  • Largest local land trust in the state of West Virginia

  • 7th largest land trust in the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed

  • Over $6 Million dollars of conservation easements have been put into the hands of local landowners

  • 1st West Virginia Land Trust to be accredited by LTA (Land Trust Alliance)

  • 53 Conservation Easements

  • 14,000+ acres permanently protected

Rare Native Plants Found!

Grass Pinks Calapogon Orchid
Calapogn tuberosus

Kate's Mountain Clover
Trifolium virginicum

Protect What You Love!

We’ve been working with landowners for 30 years in the Cacapon watershed to protect the forests, rivers and farms they love through voluntary conservation easement. A conservation easement is a flexible tool that meets the needs of landowners and protects land forever. Working in partnership with landowners, the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust listens carefully and ensures the goals of landowners are supported and the conservation values of the land are protected. Conservation easements offer peace of mind and through donated easements, tax deduction benefits. For more information contact Jennifer at jennifer@cacapon.org.

Attention Keep the Cacapon Clean (KCC) members and volunteers

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A Place Worth Protecting!

For highlights on the Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust's ambitious land protection goals to protect land, water and wildlife in the Cacapon watershed, see more info here. We welcome your support.

Read more here

Landowners, financial assistance is available to implement land management goals through Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partners with the Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust and Trout Unlimited to advance conservation efforts in the Cacapon watershed. Land currently in agricultural production, or non-industrial private forestland, is eligible for the financial assistance through the EQIP program.

Applications are accepted year-round. For more information, please contact your local NRCS office or Christi Hicks, District Conservationist / 304-276-5636 / Christi.Hicks@usda.gov

Our Work Inspires Us!

We assist landowners and communities in the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Watershed with maintaining healthy rivers, protecting forests and farmland, and preserving rural heritage for the enjoyment and well being of present and future generations.

Time to Get Out on the Water!

Now is the perfect time to enjoy the more than 1,700 miles of streams and rivers in the Cacapon Watershed. Check out our waterproof map that gives details on the Cacapon Water Trail including public access points, good fishing holes and historic attractions. Enjoy!

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WOW — Wonders of our Watershed Photo Contest

Share with us what you love about the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust!

Enter your digital photography of wildlife, plants, forests, farms and riverscapes in the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Wonders of Our Watershed photo contest! First, second and third place winners will receive a prize and promotion of the photograph.

Contest Details

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Your Generosity Motivates Us!

Photo by Bill Blauvelt

Every donation motivates us to continue the important work of permanently protecting land and conserving natural resources in the Cacapon and Lost Rivers watershed. With your support, this area of West Virginia will continue to be a special place to live, work and visit.

Please click here to help protect land, water quality, wildlife and the rural experience in the Cacapon and Lost Rivers watershed.


Listening to the Land

Stories from the Cacapon & Lost River Valley

Listening to the Land

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