Virginia Conservation Efforts Face Calls For Reform | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Conservation Efforts Face Calls For Reform

Play associated audio
Conservation efforts have preserved areas like Grayson Highlands, but some charge that new efforts are hampered by a disorderly process.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vadcr/3272104128/
Conservation efforts have preserved areas like Grayson Highlands, but some charge that new efforts are hampered by a disorderly process.

About 15 percent of Virginia's total acreage has been permanently protected from future development, mainly due to the Land Preservation Tax Credit. Even so, members of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission are looking for more effective ways to conserve Virginia land.

Virginia's preservation tax credits provide 40 percent of the land's fair market value in exchange for the property-owner's agreement to terminate development rights. That's capped at $100 million annually for everyone.

"Credits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, not according to the priority of the land that's being conserved or to its conservation benefits," says JLARC project leader Jamie Bitz. He says that approach limits both public access and funds for other priorities.

Delegate Bobby Orrock suggested keeping the cap, but reallocating a portion to grants.

"Saying we've got two separate pots, whether a 60-40 split, 30-70, however you want to look at it, but the 60-70 percent of this pot of money will go to priority lands."

Other funding options include a state park fee surcharge and increasing recordation or grantors taxes.

NPR

Mega-Rich Invest In Works By Living Artists

Renee Montagne talks to art sociologist and writer Sarah Thornton about how the habits of the 1 percent reverberate across the art world. She is the author of 33 Artists in 3 Acts.
NPR

Nigella Lawson Loves Leftovers And Knows How To Use Them

If you don't want to eat endless turkey sandwiches, there's plenty else you can make. David Greene talks to cookbook author Nigella Lawson about what to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers.
NPR

Pentagon Expected To Release More Detainees From Guantanamo

Since the midterm elections, there has been a new batch of transfers from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and more releases are in the works. But a new GOP Congress could stall the drive to empty Guantanamo.
NPR

Millennial Doctors May Be More Tech-Savvy, But Is That Better?

Text messages from your doctor are just the start. Millennials are the next generation of doctors and they're not afraid to say "chillax" in a consultation or check Twitter to find medical research.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.