Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust


The Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust works throughout the Lost and Cacapon River watershed to assist landowners and communities in maintaining healthy rivers, protecting forests and farmland, and in preserving rural heritage for the enjoyment and well being of present and future generations.

I'm pleased to introduce the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust (the Trust) and its accomplishments, and the process of permanently protecting the conservation values of land. Conservation easements are not for everyone, but if you care about preserving the rural qualities of the Cacapon and Lost River watershed and/or your land, then I encourage you to read on…

The Trust received its non-profit, tax-exempt status in 1995. It is by far the largest land trust in the state. Working in partnership with volunteer landowners, the Trust holds fifteen conservation easement agreements that permanently protect over 8,000 acres in the Cacapon & Lost River watershed.

Uncontrolled development is finding its way into many hollows; those qualities of life we came or stayed for are threatened. As individuals, we can stand back and let it happen, or we can respond proactively to preserve these important landscapes. The Trust, in partnership with those who have voluntarily signed conservation easement agreements or offered financial support (see pages 8 and 9), has shown that together we can make a difference — one hour of work, one dollar, and one land parcel at a time.

The most effective way available to permanently protect our rural landscape and rich heritage is through conservation easement agreements. Conservation easements have stood the legal test of 100 years; they are permanent. Conservation easement agreements are totally voluntary; they do not require public access; you can sell, inherit, timber, and build on the land. There is very little cost to the landowner in setting them up, and the wishes set forth in the agreement are determined by the landowner, not the Trust.

Like any new concept, you may have a lot of questions about our work. I encourage you to contact me with those questions, ask me to speak at your meetings, or privately visit your property. And please, request contact information for those who have signed agreements with us — these people are our best advocates.

I am the Trust’s only staff member; my family has been in Hampshire County for seven generations. Of all my career experiences, this work is by far the most rewarding. The people I have the privilege of working with are leaving a legacy. They are helping to protect a piece of our disappearing landscape — one of rolling farms and forests, abundant wildlife, and quiet fishing holes. If you also feel passionate about preserving the special places in this watershed, I hope you’ll make a contribution to the Trust, or contact us if you’re interested in placing a conservation easement on your land.

Nancy Ailes, Executive Director

Accreditation seal

Contact Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust

Nancy Ailes
Executive Director
RR 1, Box 328
High View, West Virginia  26808-9708
Phone: (304) 856-1010
Fax: (304) 856-3911


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • DC
  • West Virginia

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