Conservation+ has been a significant part of the DEQ program since its inception and acts as a partner in the landowner’s project.
Our experience planting more than 42 million trees on 120,000 acres through GreenTrees (a division of ACRE Investment Management) makes us uniquely suited to deliver successfully growing trees. Conservation Plus, a sister company of ACRE Investment Management, works directly with Virginia landowners to implement the program from the initial estimate, plan design, DEQ application, sale of credits, and through the life of the forest as it matures.
Because not all land is valued the same, the DEQ program is designed to vary the reward depending on the use of the land in 2005, and the sensitivity of the specific region to the river system. Depending on whether the land was growing a crop in 2005 or pastured, would make a difference in the credits issued. Similarly, the basins feeding the Potomac, Shenandoah, Rappahannock, and James rivers are valued depending on their sensitivity to the Bay. A region within the basin is called a HUC (Hydrologic Unit Code.) A nutrient credit yield can be projected once the HUC is confirmed, the land use in 2005 is verified, and the landowner determines the total acres they will be dedicated to the program.
At this point, the DEQ asks that a sponsoring representative, familiar with their program submit an application on the landowner’s behalf. Like a conservation easement, the landowner agrees to the DEQ program will last in perpetuity to work best. The DEQ program protects the land and its natural assets, similar to the restrictive covenants of a conservation easement already recorded, or one that is being considered.