As 2020 comes to an end, I'm reminded how vital partnerships are to achieving our mission to protect the farms, forests, water quality, wildlife, and rural heritage of the Cacapon watershed.

In December, I joined Alana Hartman, of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Potomac/Chesapeake Bay Program, to review a stream restoration project that was funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. The project was implemented with partners from WV DEP, West Virginia University, the Cacapon Valley Institute, and landowners on both sides of the river that had conservation easements on their property.

Once the stream restoration work was complete — which included planting trees and using natural log vanes to protect the streambanks — the farming family asked for additional assistance to keep cattle away from the streambank improvements and out of the river. Additional funding was secured through the Natural Resources Conservation Service for fencing and alternative water supplies.

Now, 11 years later, the natural interventions continue to do the job to prevent streambank erosion and protect water quality. And the cattle move between fenced fields and use off-stream water sources. As one person who worked on the project remembers, it was a "win-win" for the ecology and the farming economy of the Cacapon watershed.

As the sun was starting to go low in the sky, Alana grabbed her waders and wandered into the river to "take a look below the surface." Much to her delight, in one place and "in only 8 minutes" she found evidence of a healthy river including several kinds of caddis flies' casings, snails and a mussel. With bald eagles flying overhead and a river otter enjoying the river's ripples, it was proof positive that with landowners and other partners, we can succeed in protecting this magnificent resource.

Keys to our success are also people like you who support our work to protect what we all love about the Cacapon watershed. Thank you for continuing to donate generously to our efforts. We are all in this together!

See more field trip photos

On behalf of all of us at the Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

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

Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust Receives Grant to Partner with Trout Unlimited!

We’re excited to share the good news that our efforts to permanently protect land and to continue to work with Trout Unlimited to improve habitat for native brook trout just received a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation! Go here for more information on this important grant program.

Land Trust sets goal of 8,000 more protected acres

Jennifer Jones, Executive Director of the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust recently spoke to the Hampshire Review about our commitment to land protection in the Cacapon watershed.

For highlights of the 2020-2025 Cacapon & Lost RIvers Land Trust's Strategic Plan

Read more here

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

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works on a voluntary basis with private landowners to promote agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals. Trained conservationists help landowners document how they want to manage their properties.

Financial assistance is available to eligible participants to implement land management goals through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP can assist with fencing to exclude livestock from riparian areas, woodland, or other environmentally sensitive areas. The program can help develop water sources for pastures, install culverts to eliminate barriers to aquatic passage in streams, and fix eroding stream banks.

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 /

Interested in protecting your land?

Conservation easements are flexible tools that meet the needs of landowners and protect 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

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.

Rare Native Plants Found!

Grass Pinks Calapogon Orchid
Calapogn tuberosus

Kate's Mountain Clover
Trifolium virginicum

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

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers Facing Inclement Weather

Most of the nation is facing unusually cold weather, as a winter storm moved coast-to-coast over the weekend. Winter storms create significant challenges and often result in catastrophic loss for agricultural producers, especially for those raising livestock, row crops and vulnerable crops.

Despite every attempt to mitigate risk, your operation may suffer losses. USDA offers several programs to help with recovery.

Learn More About How USDA Can Help

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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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