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Strategic Plan

Introduction

The Historic Virginia Land Conservancy's (HVLC) Strategic Plan was written and approved in 2012 and set into motion the organization's priorities and initiatives through 2017.

I. Mission Statement

The HVLC is dedicated to protecting and preserving significant natural, scenic, agricultural and historic lands in the lower James, York and Rappahannock River watersheds.

II. Land Protection

  • The HVLC will consider all legal mechanisms to achieve its mission. Most of the 32 properties currently comprising the over 4000 acres directly protected by the WLC remain in private ownership, with the WLC holding a conservation easement that generally precludes the owner from further developing the property for residential or commercial use. Typically agricultural use, timber management and hunting/fishing are permitted. A few properties are owned (fee simple) by the WLC.
  • The HVLC has and will continue to work collaboratively with landowners, developers and governmental bodies to utilize other preservation and protection tools.
  • During the 2012 through 2017 period the HVLC intends to add at least fifteen easements or land holdings. The gains in protected acreage should be a diverse mix of large parcels of agricultural and forested land, parcels with historic values, parcels that protect watersheds and smaller parcels in more densely developed areas that preserve open space and viewsheds. A set of priorities will be developed to focus easement (or other mechanisms) acquisition efforts.
  • Additionally the HVLC needs to take credit in its internal reports and, as appropriate, external publicity for land protected by other agencies including governmental jurisdictions where WLC has been a major force in the achievement of the result.

III. Land Stewardship

  • The HVLC will annually inspect each of the parcels for which it has stewardship responsibilities to ensure that the landowner is complying with the legal document governing the easement.
  • The HVLC will assess the benefits and costs associated with possible insurance programs being developed by the Land Trust Alliance for necessary legal defense in the event of easement violations, as well as any alternatives.
  • The HVLC will selectively offer its stewardship capabilities to governmental bodies in its geographical area to gain revenue and to make its own stewardship program more efficient.

IV. Outreach

  • Every landowner holding more than 50 acres in the HVLC geographic area should be aware of the programs offered by HVLC and governmental bodies for protection and preservation of his or her land. Additionally, landowners of smaller parcels identified as having significant conservation values will also be made aware of protection and preservation programs.
  • Key members (elected and appointed) of all governmental bodies in the HVLC area should be periodically contacted by the HVLC to gain support for the protection and preservation of appropriate properties. Other members of the public such as attorneys and developers also need to be contacted.
  • Continuous effort should be directed at increasing public awareness of the need to protect and preserve lands as outlined in the HVLC Mission Statement. Programs directed at the younger members of the community need to be part of this effort.
  • The HVLC will participate in the comprehensive planning process of each of the counties in the lower James, York and Rappahannock River watersheds. The HVLC will support regional planning efforts as appropriate to achieve its mission.
  • An effective volunteer program to aid the HVLC in accomplishing its mission should be established and maintained.
  • An effective Advisory Committee will be maintained to provide links to the public and private sectors in the areas served by the HVLC and to provide significant financial support.
  • HVLC will grow the number of donors to the Annual Fund by 10% per year during the period 2012 to 2017.
The Stewards of the Land Society will provide the financial core of the “individual giving” in the HVLC’s annual budget.

Finance

HVLC will be financially stable.

Current reserves should equal the annual budget, exclusive of stewardship and endowment funds.

HVLC will operate in compliance with generally accepted accounting practices for an institution of its size and complexity. HVLC will meet all operational and regulatory requirements imposed by governmental bodies.
  • A segregated Stewardship Fund should be maintained for legal and other non-routine expenses associated with maintaining the easements in accordance with their terms. The amount of this fund will be determined in conjunction with the proposed Land Trust Alliance insurance program.
  • Less than 30% of the Executive Director’s time devoted to fund raising.
  • HVLC will be prepared to establish an Endowment Fund. The actual establishment of an Endowment Fund will be dependent upon an initial significant gift and the general economic climate.
  • Investment policies for the various funds will be developed.

VI. Administration and Staffing

  • HVLC will achieve accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance.
  • Staffing (paid and volunteer) will be increased as required to accomplish the stated objectives and as financial resources are available. Effective fund raising, communications directed at easement acquisition (or other land protection mechanisms) and volunteer management are the primary drivers for the added resources.
  • Technology will be in place to support staff.
  • Staff (and Board members, as appropriate) will support and participate in the activities of the Virginia United Land Trusts (VaULT). Staff will monitor local, regional, state and national land conservation efforts and propose appropriate actions to the HVLC Board.
Note: During 2012 Action Plans will be developed by the HVLC Board and its Committees. These Plans which will include appropriate measurements of success will be made part of this Five Year Plan. In subsequent years, the Five Year Plan will be reviewed at least annually by the Board and updated as appropriate.