The Northern Neck Land Conservancy will hold a forum on how landowners can protect their property from development at 6 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative headquarters at 173 Pine St. in Warsaw.

Board members and staff will explain the conservation easement process, often used to protect woodlands, marshes, farmland or other natural habitats or land. Kirwan King, Land Conservancy president, will discuss his experience with conservation easements from his own experience with Grove Mount Farm in Richmond County.

“Conservation easements can make good business sense and keep family farms in the family, which is the key to successful Virginia agriculture,” King said.

Conservancy Vice President Stuart Ashton, Jr., whose family put their land in an easement a decade ago, added that easements help maintain the rural nature of the Northern Neck, and landowners who use them can receive tax breaks from the state.

Executive Director Elizabeth Friel will field questions.

The NNLC is a nationally accredited organization served by a professional staff that can guide landowners through the easement process. Last year it helped landowners preserve more than 1,000 acres in conservation.

Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407

cjett@freelancestar.com

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