Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine applauded $7,095,000 in federal funding for the Southern Shenandoah Borderlands Project to protect 4,364 acres of scenic, undeveloped lands adjoining Shenandoah National Park through a conservation easement. This would protect the southern tip of the National Park, which millions of passersby each year see as indistinguishable from adjoining National Park land, from impacts and potential development.

The project is a part of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy program, which partners with state agencies to protect privately owned forest lands through conservation easements or land purchases. The funding was made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which provides funding from federal revenues on energy development for the acquisition of land, and interest in land, for the benefit of public lands and waters for all present and future generations. Warner and Kaine, both longtime supporters of LWCF, voted to permanently reauthorize and double funding for the program in 2020.

“Protecting our beautiful landscapes is critical to help ensure Virginians can enjoy them for generations to come,” said the Senators. “We’re glad this funding will preserve thousands of acres of scenic land and boost outdoor recreation, a critical part of the local economy.”

Warner & Kaine have long supported efforts to protect and preserve Virginia’s landscapes. In March, the senators introduced the Virginia Wilderness Additions Act, which would add a total of 5,600 acres to the existing Rough Mountain and Rich Hole wilderness areas within the George Washington National Forest in Bath County, Virginia. The senators also successfully pushed to pass legislation to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating the Great Dismal Swamp and its associated sites as a National Heritage Area, as well as legislation to establish the Northern Neck as a National Heritage Area, both of which President Biden signed into law in January.