The Conservation Workgroup is tasked with prioritizing high-value land to conserve. Using computer mapping software and their specialized experience, they work to identify the best-of-the-best potential conservation easements that will have the greatest impact on protecting drinking water supplies. They also assist the host partner, WV Rivers Coalition, with conveying that technical information to the Collaborative.
- July 8th, 2020 - Mary Molloy with the Chesapeake Conservancy Conservation Innovation Center led an online webinar about using ArcGIS Online mapping tools. You can watch the recording, or view the presentation slides here. This presentation was part of our Chesapeake Bay Land & Water Initiative grant from 2019.
- June 23rd, 2020 - Mark Schiavone with Berkeley County Farmland Protection Board presented to the Rappahannock-Rapidan Conservation Partnership Steering Committee about the Safe Water Conservation Collaborative's Prioritization Model & Process.
- May 26th, 2020 - Meeting Notes. Joint meeting with the Stewardship Workgroup to discuss the BMP Toolkit, including the Conservation Survey and Educational Brochure. Our tentative plan is to make final revisions to these documents by July, schedule a training for easement monitors in August/September, and then implement when monitoring kicks off again in October 2020.
- May 6th, 2020 - WV Rivers Coalition presented on behalf of the Conservation Workgroup to the Potomac River Basin Drinking Water Source Protection Partnership, which is coordinated by the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin. Watch the presentation here. More than 60 water utility representatives were in attendance. Using live polling during the presentation, we learned that 79% agree that cross-sector regional partnerships are beneficial, 75% agree that land conservation is a viable strategy for source water protection, and 65% believe the Collaborative's model is a good way to prioritize high-value land.
- February 12th, 2020 - Joint meeting with the Education & Outreach Workgroup. Meeting notes reflect our major talking points, which included an update on a Conservation Financing Workshop in December 2019 (agenda, notes, and finance strategies graphic), as well as a discussion on Conservation Easement Quick Facts to convey in our landowner outreach in 2020.
- January 30th, 2020 - Presentation to the Chesapeake Bay Program Maintain Healthy Watersheds Goal Implementation Team (GIT-4) regarding the Safe Water Conservation Collaborative and our GIS Prioritization Model (v1).
- December 2nd, 2019 - Review and adopt the GIS Prioritization Model v1 Indicators & Process. These meeting notes reflect the major discussion points. Most notably, the group voted to approved the GIS Prioritization v1, with one minor change to the threshold scoring calculation for Prime Farmland to more closely resemble NRCS's funding criteria, as reflected in this presentation.
- November 16th, 2019 - Presentation on cross-sector collaboration and our GIS prioritization model at the Chesapeake Bay Forum. Nearly 30 people in attendance to learn about our work Protecting Drinking Water through Land Conservation. We were featured in a television interview on Local DVM during the Bay Forum about our work.
- October 25th, 2019 - The workgroup voted via a digital survey on which GIS Prioritization Model to pursue for our first iteration of prioritizing high-value land to conserve. This presentation provides comparison of the GIS Prioritization Models, and the results of the survey can be found here.
- September 11th, 2019 - WV Rivers Coalition gave a presentation to the Eastern Panhandle GIS Users Group Presentation about our the process we are using to prioritize high-value land and how we are using GIS to assist us in that process.
- September 9th, 2019 - The workgroup met to review the responses to an Indicators Survey and discuss next steps for our GIS Prioritization Process. Full meeting notes here.
- August 20th, 2019 - Inaugural meeting of the Conservation Workgroup. WV Rivers gave a presentation on the goals & objectives of the Safe Water Conservation Collaborative and then as a group we discussed potential Indicator Datasets we could use for the GIS Prioritization Process. Full meeting notes here.