IntroductionThe Historic Virginia Land Conservancy's (HVLC) Strategic Plan was written and approved in 2019 and sets into motion the organization's priorities and initiatives through 2023.
I. Mission StatementThe Historic Virginia Land Conservancy, a 501(c)3 organization, 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
- HVLC will consider work essentially with private landowners to protect conservation values who benefit from the fiscal implications of deeding land to conservation. Most of the current portfolio of 65 properties, comprising over 10,250 acres directly protected by HVLC via conservation easement, remain in private ownership, with the easement generally precluding the owner from further development for either residential or commercial use. Typically, agricultural use, timber management and hunting & fishing are permitted. Five additional properties are owned fee-simple.
- HVLC has and will continue to work collaboratively with landowners, developers and governmental bodies to utilize other preservation and protection tools that are a part of government funding.
- HVLC will pursue expanding territory when opportunities arise, while avoiding unproductive conflict with other land trusts.
- HVLC will use land criteria as a guideline by which to measure easement or fee simple potential. These criteria will be addressed in easement evaluation as part of the board approval process.
- HVLC criteria will include greater consideration for public benefit (visual, health and quality of life, natural, scenic, agricultural, historic and others), as well as soil and water improvements.
- HVLC needs to take credit in its internal reports and, as appropriate, in external publicity, for land protected by other agencies, including governmental jurisdictions, where HVLC has been a force in land protection.
- HVLC will maintain accredited status with the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a subsidiary of Land Trust Alliance, by which land protection decisions will be measured.
- HVLC will maintain process of approval for HVLC protected properties that enable a response from HVLC to the professionals in the group process within a reasonable timeframe, with an effort toward immediately responsive.
III. Land Stewardship
- HVLC will inspect annually each of the parcels for which it has stewardship responsibilities to ensure that the landowner complies with the legal document governing the easement. HVLC will use the annual stewardship duty to maintain and strengthen the conservation partnerships with landowners.
- HVLC will maintain all appropriate easement related and organizational insurances necessary for legal defense costs associated with easement violations, as well as be apprised of other industry developments to protect the easement holder.
- HVLC will offer its stewardship capabilities selectively to government bodies in its geographic area to gain revenue and to make its own stewardship program more efficient.
- HVLC will further define the stewardship donation to landowners with each easement and fee simple prospect to better reflect our duty in perpetuity.
- It is the goal of HVLC to inform the public of HVLC’s mission, its protection program and other conservation vehicles for protection.
- General Assembly legislators should be contacted periodically by HVLC to help with awareness and corporate sponsorship solicitations. Other key legislative representatives on the local and state level should also be looked to for support.
- Public benefits of conservation should be conveyed, with attention given to the younger members of our community who represent the next generation of conservation partners.
- An effective volunteer program to aid HVLC in accomplishing its mission should be established and maintained.
- An Advisory Board will be maintained to provide links to the public and private sectors in areas served by HVLC, and also to provide significant financial support and overall governance upon request.
- HVLC will continue to work towards the growth of the membership base.
- HVLC will pursue efforts to put the public on conserved lands annually to promote all public benefits of protection.
- 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.
- HVLC will be financially stable, with the higher individual donor society levels of John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Stewards of the Land providing the financial core of individual giving.
- HVLC guidelines should reflect current reserves equal to the annual budget, exclusive of restricted stewardship and endowment funds. Separate accounts for restricted and non-restricted funds shall be maintained, as well as recognition of board restricted vs. donor restricted.
- HVLC Endowment Fund will be monitored for investment policy compliance.
- HVLC investments funds will be reviewed for compliance with investment policy.
- HVLC will be prepared to raise level of annual financials from a review to a full audit.
- HVLC will be prepared to pursue alternative revenue streams that align with our mission.
- HVLC will be prepared to pursue corporate sponsorships on a large scale, touting public benefits of protection and that effect on the quality of life considered by potential employees.
- HVLC committees will include in their board meeting updates, any request for funds needed to carry forth their objectives.
- 100% Board of Directors and Advisory Board membership participation.
VI. Administration and Staffing
- HVLC will maintain accredited status granted by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a subsidiary of the Land Trust Alliance.
- HVLC will be prepared to provide employee benefits to executive director.
- Staffing will be increased as required to accomplish the stated objectives, coupled with the financial resources available. Effective fund raising, communications directed at easement acquisition and volunteer management, are the primary drivers for added resources.
- The executive committee shall conduct an annual review of the executive director.
Note: Action Plans have been developed by the HVLC Board and its Committees. These Plans, which will include appropriate measurements of success, are considered part of this Five Year Plan. In coming years, the Five Year Plan will be reviewed at least annually by the Board and updated as appropriate.