Working with our regional partners through the Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative (SVCC), the Alliance has created the Shenandoah Valley Fund. This revolving loan fund will assist landowners with gap funding to cover the costs of completing conservation easements on their land.
A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement, established between a landowner and non-profit conservation organization or public agency. The easement permanently restricts development while allowing for uses such as farming, grazing and timber harvest as determined by the owner of the land. A landowner sometimes chooses to do this to preserve the environmental integrity of the land and/or because they want the parcel to remain intact as a legacy for generations to come.
When a landowner makes the decision to permanently protect their land with a conservation easement, they encounter several upfront costs, including property surveys, appraisals, and other associated legal fees. These costs require the landowner to have cash on hand to begin the process and often discourage or downright exclude willing landowners from going forward. The Shenandoah Valley Fund will remove this financial barrier by providing interest-free loans to help landowners cover these upfront costs.