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 …”

Bill Chesnutt fishing on the Cacapon River

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.”

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.

Emily Warner
Executive Director

A legacy gift supports land protection in the Cacapon watershed.
Learn more about legacy gifts Contact us

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Trust Accomplishments

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

  • 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 in the Cacapon Watershed

Grass Pinks Calapogon Orchid
Calapogn tuberosus

Kate’s Mountain Clover
Trifolium virginicum

Protect What You Love!

We have 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 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