Enviva helps protect tract of Nottoway River corridor

By Enviva | July 19, 2022

An important watershed forest along the Nottoway River in Southampton County, Virginia, will now be permanently conserved thanks in part to a grant from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has secured permanent conservation easements within the Nottoway River corridor on more than 838 acres, including 791 acres of working forest stands. The Nottoway Properties tract includes over 2.5 miles of frontage on the scenic Nottoway River, 600 acres of wetlands including approximately 200 acres of high-quality Cypress Tupelo, and about 400 acres of mixed typical Piedmont bottomland hardwoods. Additionally, the uplands portion of the tract is in pine plantation under management as a long-term working forest.

“The conservation of this property achieves several goals. Thanks to the support from Enviva and The Nature Conservancy, over 2.5 miles of the scenic Nottoway River are protected from development, and visitors will always be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the river. This land will be preserved and managed indefinitely as forest, rather than being converted to agriculture or other non-forest uses, supporting critical wildlife and habitat,” said Karl Didler, forestland conservation program manager with the VDOF. “Finally, a portion of the tract will continue to be managed as pine plantation, sustainably supporting the wood products industry while protecting Virginia’s water resources while protecting Virginia’s water quality,” Scheps concluded.

Currently, the property is home to numerous habitats, plant and animal species, including the federally threatened yellow lamp mussel (lampsilis cariosa) and the northern long-eared bat (myotis septenrionalis). This easement contributes another parcel to the National Scenic Nottoway River project, and a larger portion of the property is within the 100-year floodplain. Conservation will ensure that the water quality of the Nottoway River and other streams on the property are protected from sedimentation and pollution, especially during flood events.

“We are very pleased to contribute to the growing conservation corridor on the state scenic Nottoway River. We are happy to join the many other landowners who have chosen to protect our river here in Southampton County for future generations” said Clay Porter, the owner of the property.

“This is an important addition as work continues to conserve the Nottoway River corridor,” said Alicia Cramer, senior vice president of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. “This project is a significant piece of the Nottoway River protection effort, critical to supporting the important cultural, economic, and environmental contributions of this special area.”

The Fund’s goal is to be a catalyst for forest and habitat conservation in North Carolina and Virginia. More than five years into the planned 10-year partnership, 25 projects have been funded with a total commitment approaching $2.3 million, including today’s announcement. When these projects are completed, the Fund will have helped protect an estimated 30,024 acres of sensitive wetland forest and other habitats.