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Arlington Considers Sweeping Natural Resources Protection Plan

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This small patch of land in Arlington's Barcroft Park is called a Magnolia Bog and is classified as a "globally rare" plant community for its mix of flora.
Jonathan Wilson
This small patch of land in Arlington's Barcroft Park is called a Magnolia Bog and is classified as a "globally rare" plant community for its mix of flora.

In Arlington, Va., tomorrow, the county board is expected to vote on Arlington's first-ever comprehensive plan to preserve its natural resources.

The proposed protection plan has 19 different recommendations, such as creating a specialized management unit for natural resources.

Jamie Bartalon, a forestry supervisor with the county, says the plan doesn't demand much in terms of upfront costs or personnel -- partly because it can't: Budget crunches have forced Arlington to cut 160 positions over the past two years.

The plan stems directly from a three-year natural resources survey completed in 2008. The survey identified a rare plant community in Arlington's Barcroft Park known as a Magnolia Bog.

Bartalon says there are probably less than 10 such places the entire country.

"The Sweetbay Magnolia is how it's most easily identified, and there are several different sized magnolia trees here, scattered throughout," Bartalon says.

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