VaULT Conference

2013 Virginia Land Conservation Conference

April 16-18 at the Hotel Roanoke – Roanoke, VA

Conference held by VaULT

Thank you to everyone who made the 2013 Virginia Land Conservation Conference a success. See you in 2014!

The Virginia Land Conservation Conference is organized by the Virginia’s United Land Trusts (VaULT). VaULT is a coalition of approximately 50 organizations that are dedicated to the protection of local, regional and statewide natural and cultural resources which contribute to the ecological, social and economic well being of Virginia’s communities. VaULT’s members include private, non profit land trusts as well as state agencies which are active in the conservation of Virginia’s resources.

Take a Tour of the Catawba Valley

Start this year’s conference off right with a Tuesday afternoon tour of the beautiful Catawba Valley. The Catawba Valley runs through 20 miles of pasture and farmland from Montgomery County to Botetourt County as it straddles the Eastern Continental Divide, which separates the New River/Gulf of Mexico watershed from the James River/Chesapeake Bay watershed. Scenic US Bicycle Route 76 runs along the valley floor, while the Appalachian Trail runs along the ridgetops and crosses the valley just west of the village of Catawba. Learn more about the Valley here and then click here to register for the field trip.

Wake Up with the Birds! Hike with Rupert Cutler Wednesday Morning

Join Rupert Cutler, environmentalist and bird aficionado, for a spring migration birding hike on Wednesday, April 17 starting at 6:30 am. Meet Ruper at the Wells Avenue Hotel Roanoke entrance at 6:30 am for a 1 1/2 hour walk from the hotel on the Lick Run Greenway to valley View Mall (about 3 miles flat and paved). The hotel bus will pick up the group at 8 am and return to the hotel by 8:15 am. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and binoculars!

Full Conference Registration includes:

  • Admission to all sessions
  • Breakfast buffet, lunch and refreshments on Wednesday and Thursday
  • the Blue Ridge Dinner on Wednesday

One Day Registration includes:

  • Admission to the day’s sessions
  • Breakfast buffet, lunch and refreshments that day
  • the Blue Ridge Dinner on Wednesday

Student Registration includes:

  • Admission to all sessions
  • Breakfast buffet, lunch and refreshments on Wednesday and Thursday

For students and anyone not registering for the conference sessions, tickets for the Wednesday evening dinner may  be purchased for $45.

Conference Schedule* (click here for a Hotel Roanoke map)

Click here to download the Conference Schedule as a .pdf

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

12:00 -5:00pm
1:00pm – 5:00pm
5:30pm – 6:15pm
Registration Open (North Entry Foyer)
Catawba Valley Field Trip – Click here to learn more
Social Hour in the Hotel Roanoke’s Pine Room Pub
Dine Around Roanoke – Join other land conservation folks for an evening of fun and getting-to-know your colleagues. Meet in the hotel lobby.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

6:30am – 8:00am
7:30am – 5:00pm
8:30am – 11:45am
Birding Walk on the Lick Run Greenway
Registration Open (North Entry Foyer)
Plenary Session (VaULT and PDR managers meeting) and Buffet Breakfast (Roanoke Ballroom AB)
Opening Remarks by Roanoke City Manager Chris Morrill
12:00pm – 1:15pm
Lunch & Featured Speaker Jay Leutze (Crystal Ballroom)
Jay Leutze was born in Virginia in 1964. Trained as an attorney, he has become a leading voice for state and federal conservation funding for investment in public lands. Jay authored the 2012 book “Stand Up That Mountain” which chronicles a five-year struggle to shut down an illegal mining operation near Jay’s home in the mountains of western North Carolina. Leutze and his grass-roots coalition would eventually take the case to the state’s highest courts and prevent the destruction of a treasured portion of unspoiled land near the Appalachian Trail. Jay is a Trustee for Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, one of the nation’s most established land trusts.
1:30pm – 3:00pm
Concurrent Sessions
Session A (Monroe)
Advancing Conservation Through River Corridor Coalitions – Joel Dunn, Chesapeake Conservancy; Jonathan Doherty, National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Program (45 minutes)
Conservation Collaborations with the Department of Defense – Reggie Hall, The Conservation Fund; Lynda Frost, Trust for Public Land; Andy Lacatell, The Nature Conservancy; Joe Thompson, Northern Neck Land Conservancy (45 minutes)
Session B (Wilson)
Incorporating Virginia’s Priority Wildlife in Local Conservation Planning – CMI/DGIFChris Burkett, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; Scott Klopfer, and Rebecca Schneider, Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech (55 minutes)
Enough to Last: Accounting for Climate Change Resiliency in Conservation Planning and Implementation – Judy K. Dunscomb, The Nature Conservancy; David Ray, The Open Space Institute (35 minutes)
3:00pm – 3:30pm
Networking Break
3:30pm – 5:00pm
Concurrent Sessions
Session C (Monroe)
Exploring New Financial Tools for Conservation – Pat Coady, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust and Nikki Rovner, The Nature Conservancy (90 minutes)
Session D (Wilson)
Getting It Right: How to Evaluate and Use Spatial Data and Tools Correctly in Land Conservation Prioritization – Scott Klopfer, Conservation Management Institute; Dr. Stephen Prisley, Center for Natural Resources Assessment and Decision Support at Virginia Tech (90 minutes)
6:00pm – 9:30pm
Blue Ridge Dinner on Mill MountainDirections to Mill Mountain
Buses will depart at 5:45 pm from the Hotel Roanoke’s Wells Avenue entrance to travel to a hearty local foods feast featuring regional beer, wine, and authentic “white lightning,” the music of the hills, and a breathtaking view of the Roanoke Valley. At 9 pm, buses will depart the mountain and return to the Hotel Roanoke. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

7:30am – 9:00am
7:30am – 8:45am
9:00am – 10:30am
Registration Open (North Entry Foyer)
Networking Breakfast (Crystal Ballroom)
Concurrent Sessions
Session E (Monroe)
The Future of Land Conservation in Virginia – and Passing the Torch – Chuck Roe, Land Trust Alliance; Rupert Cutler, Blue Ridge Land Conservancy; Phil Hocker, Conservation Service Company LLC; Bob Lee, Virginia Outdoors Foundation; Gerald McCarthy, Virginia Environmental Endowment; Heather Richards, Piedmont Environmental Council (90 minutes)
Session F (Wilson)
Ethical Issues for Lawyers and Land Trusts (Ethics CLE) – Timothy Lindstrom, Esq.; T.J. Mascia, Hunton & Williams; Stephen Lemon, Martin, Hopkins & Lemon PC; Lee Stephens, Lee Stephens Law LLC (90 minutes)
10:45am – 12:15pm
Concurrent Sessions
Session G (Monroe)
Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Protecting the Woodland’s Potential – Brian G. Fuller, Virginia Outdoors Foundation; Michael Santucci, Virginia Department of Forestry (90 minutes)
Session H (Wilson)
Ethical Issues for Lawyers and Land Trusts (Ethics CLE, 30 minutes – see panel above) and Tax Court Case Update (CLE, 60 minutes) – Tim Lindstrom, Esq.(CLE) (90 minutes )
12:30 – 1:45pm
Lunch and Keynote Speaker David Hurt (Crystal Ballroom)
David Hurt is both a conservation easement donor and professional. David began his conservation career as project manager of the Western Virginia Land Trust (now the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy). Then, he worked with Lexington-based Conservation Partners, LLC, as their Easement Director.  He is a former member of the Franklin County Board of Supervisors and currently sits on the Virginia Recreational Facilities Authority, the state board that oversees Explore Park in Roanoke County. David now works with Wordsprint as their Roanoke Valley Sales Representative.
2:00pm – 3:30pm
Session I (Wilson)
Stewardship Roundtable Discussion: Comparing Notes on What We’ve LearnedMartha Little, Virginia Outdoors Foundation; Don Owen, Land Trust of Virginia; Brett Ellsworth-Glymph, Office of the Attorney

*Schedule subject to change

Conference Location & Accommodations

This year’s conference will take place April 16-18 in Roanoke, Virginia. The conference will be held at the historic Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center which is situated alongside downtown Roanoke in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Call 540-985-5900 or toll free at 866-594-4722 to book your room at the Hotel Roanoke.

The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center is located at 110 Shenandoah Avenue, Roanoke, VA 24016. Self-parking is $1-$6 during the day and $7 overnight. Valet parking is $12.

About Roanoke

VaULT Conference to be held in Roanoke, VA

Downtown Roanoke as seen from Mill Mountain

Recently voted “Best Mid-sized Mountain Town” by Blue Ridge Outdoors readers, Roanoke has a plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities for visitors and residents alike. Besides being home to some of the best cycling, fishing, water sports, and hiking in Virginia, the Roanoke region also offers a diverse mix of entertainment, culture, retail, and commerce to satisfy most people. Click here to learn more about Roanoke’s many dining and entertainment options.

More Information

For more details about the conference, please contact the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy at 540-985-0000 or email us. For information on sponsoring this year’s conference, contact Don Owen at 540-687-8441 or


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