Each natural area requires a management plan written to address the characteristics and conditions of the area. An important aspect of natural area management planning is determining what land uses are compatible within a given area. This planning requires a thorough analysis of the ecological values of a particular site along with the economic and social influences. The landowner and DCR agree on compatible land-use practices and incorporate those into the plan.
Many natural areas require active management to ensure rare natural communities and species flourish. DCR natural area stewards provide technical expertise in developing management plans and implementing ecological management projects. Common ecological management techniques include prescribed burning, invasive species control, biological monitoring, and hydrological restoration.
In selecting this protection option, the landowner is rewarded with the pride of contributing to the conservation of Virginia's natural heritage. If the landowner wishes, the professional staff of DCR can offer management advice or assistance. The DCR stewardship staff is available to develop and implement plans for various management procedures such as prescribed burning, control of invasive species, establishment of vegetative buffers, and hydrologic restoration. In addition, our stewardship staff will monitor the condition of the resources for the landowner as well as provide the owner with the information about the resources on his/her land.