WARRENTON, Va. - The Piedmont Environmental Council says more than 9,500 acres in its nine-county region were protected by conservation easements last year.
Easements are agreements between a landowner and a land trust or public agency to permanently protect land valued for its scenic beauty or natural setting.
The council says more than 357,000 acres in the region are protected. That represents nearly 17 percent of the land in the region.
The council's service area includes the counties of Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier (faw-KEER'), Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock.
Fauquier is tops among the nine counties with 96,606 acres protected from development. Next is Albemarle with 87,247.
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