Montpelier protects additional acreage from development

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ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- James Madison's Montpelier has placed an additional 1,024 acres of historic land under permanent conservation easement.

"Restored Mansion at James Madison's Montpelier" by Pthomaskmadigan/CC BY-SA 4.0

It was made possible by a gift from the Mars family, the Montpelier Foundation, the National Trust and Piedmont Environmental Council. The designation means that the land will be protected from development.

Montpelier already had 915 acres under permanent historical and conservation easements. This brings the total land protected by easements to 1,939 acres. The entire Montpelier grounds span 2,650 acres.

"The breadth of the history at Montpelier and its resonance centuries later make it one of the most special places in our country and one that we are eager and proud to protect," said Paul Edmondson, President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The land will remain a natural habitat for animals to run around in and visitors will be allowed to walk and explore the area.

Price Thomas, the director of marketing and communications of Montpelier said the land conservation dates back to one of Madison's stories of keeping things balanced between man and nature.

"In 2019, we're talking about climate change, we're talking about wildfires and earthquakes in California and we're seeing this shift in how man and woman are interacting with our natural world," he said.
"A lot of this was predicted by Madison over 200 years ago and some of it is coming to fruition. So, we want to use some of that, use some of the natural resources we have to tell some of that story."

Montpelier does not have plans to preserve any more land.

Montpelier plans on hosting a conservation ceremony on Sept. 21.

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