ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- The Commonwealth of Virginia protected more than 26,000 acres of natural land in 2012. Easements from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation will protect all this land to try and preserve Virginia's natural beauty.
W.E. Hisey is and always will be an outdoorsman and he donated his land to conservation.
"I've done a little bit of everything,” said Hisey, “It'd take a half hour to tell you, but, most of my work has been outside, in national parks, national forests, game warden."
He's been all over the world but settled here in the Valley with his wife of 68 years.
"I've seen a lot of beautiful places, and with all the development, I wanted to keep something that was halfway natural and improve the air and water."
That was why he decided to to donate his 100 acres to conservation.
"Leave things a little better, than when I got here a few years back."
By a few years back, he meant the 1940s. Since then, he's planted nearly 10,000 trees on his land.
"It can never be developed and has to be maintained as a natural area for trees and wildlife."
He said he's not alone on this idea. In 2012, Augusta County land owners donated more than 700 acres to conservation.
"There's a lot of people doing that same thing. Usually old buzzards that figure that they better take care of what their heirs did and their whole life, before its too dang late."
Hisey wants to make sure Virginia stays as beautiful as the day he got here.
"Wild places and natural places are so scarce. We're losing them everyday."
Just last year alone, nearly 900 acres in the Valley were protected through the Virginia Outdoor Foundation. Since the Foundation started in 1966, the Valley has maintained and conserved nearly 40,000 acres of Virginia's natural beauty.
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