Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

April 29, 2014

Va. agency drops drilling from easement policy

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — The Virginia Outdoors Foundation will no longer accept conservation easements in which landowners retain oil and gas rights.

The decision follows concerns voiced at a public forum in Fredericksburg in March about the prospect of hydraulic fracturing in the Taylorsville basin east and south of Interstate 95.

The Free Lance-Star  reports that the foundation’s board of trustees changed the conservation-easement policy last week during a quarterly meeting in Montpelier.

Previously, the foundation’s standard conservation easements allowed limited extraction of oil and gas from the surface of a property, subject to restrictions.

The General Assembly created the foundation in 1966 to protect open space. It has about 3,700 conservation easements across Virginia that protect more than 729,000 acres from development.

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