Virginia benefits from a system of protected lands that provide key wildlife habitat. These range from national, state and municipal properties to lands set aside for conservation by private and non-profit organizations. As impressive as these conservation lands are, their footprint on the landscape pales in comparison to the total acreage that is under private ownership. This is especially true in the Virginia Piedmont, where 95% of the land base is privately owned. Because of this, private lands can have a huge, positive impact on wildlife conservation.
Whether private lands are forested or agricultural, consist of regenerating clearcuts or old fields, contain wetlands or open water, or are even suburban backyards, they are actively used by various types of wildlife. Among this wildlife are innumerable species of birds, many of them with declining populations, which breed, winter and migrate on private lands. All private landowners can therefore make a contribution to the conservation of these species on their lands.
In order to facilitate wildlife conservation on private lands, we are excited to make available the 3rd edition of ‘Managing Land in the Piedmont of Virginia for Birds and Other Wildlife’ (small PDF file or large PDF file). This publication was created through a collaboration among DGIF, the Piedmont Environmental Council and American Bird Conservancy, and benefited from input by many other partners across the state. It serves as a primer to landowners interested in making a difference for birds and other wildlife on their properties, and covers a wide variety of habitat types and land uses. It also includes a ‘Resources’ section to put landowners in touch with foresters and biologists who can help to tailor planning and management recommendations to individual properties; and to guide folks toward professionals who can help get habitat management done.
The publication covers wildlife habitats found in the Piedmont region of Virginia. These habitats are not exclusive to the Piedmont, so the publication can be used by anyone whose land includes these habitats, regardless of location. Download your copy (small PDF file or large PDF file) or contact The Piedmont Environmental Council at 540-347-2334 to arrange to pick up a hard copy at one of their offices.