By Middleburg Eccentric – July 30, 2019 Modified date: July 30, 201998
Situated in Loudoun County, Virginia, less than half a mile southwest of Lucketts, 87 acres is now permanently protected by the Land Trust of Virginia through the donation of a conservation easement by Stumptown Farm, LLC owned by JK Moving Services on July 11, 2019.
Now known as JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary, this property provides important wildlife habitat for a number of aquatic and terrestrial species, with potential habitat for two State Threatened Species, the Wood Turtle (Gleptymis insculpta) and the Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludoviciana), because it consists of 54 acres of forest cover, 10.7 acres of minor floodplain, and 13 important vernal pools. “It is exceptional and unique habitat,” commented Michael Myers, Executive Director of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy (LWC), “that’s why we are working hard to acquire the property and protect it for future generations.”
According to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage (DCR), in 2018 the area was identified as a “globally rare wetland community type endemic in the Culpeper Basin of the northern Virginia and Maryland Piedmont.”
The property is visible from Route 662 (Stumptown Road), Route 663 (Newvalley Road), and Route 15 (James Monroe Highway) which is designated as a Virginia Byway and a National Scenic Byway. The property lies within the Mosby Heritage Area as well as The Journey Through Hallowed Ground, further protecting land important to the cultural and historic qualities of Loudoun.
“Protecting Stumptown Woods furthers our interest in making meaningful charitable investments and protecting open spaces. While this property could have been divided into many parcels, we are thrilled to reduce that to zero and conserve this critical habitat,” said Chuck Kuhn, CEO, JK Moving Services.
Last year, JK Moving purchased the property to put the land into conservation easement. Once LWC is able to raise the funds, JK Moving will sell it to LWC at a lower “conserved” property value, and JK Moving and the Kuhn Family Foundation will donate the remaining balance. The conservation easement was done in coordination with JK Moving in anticipation of LWC acquiring the property by the end of 2019.
In the past two years, LWC, The Nature Conservancy, and DCR have conducted surveys and created a wetland mitigation plan in anticipation of bolstering the existing rare habitat and species that reside there. Conservation successes like this provide countless benefits to the public and are the result of the collaboration of numerous individuals and organizations. Continued support of LTV helps facilitate these collaborations resulting in a win for conservation in Virginia and for everyone.