RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — The Virginia Department of Forestry says it has recorded its first forestland conservation easement in Northumberland County.

The state agency says former U.S. Sen. Paul Trible has developed a conservation easement on more than 500 acres of his family land. His family has owned Gascony Farm for almost 100 years.

A conservation easement allows a property owner to continue to use the land while protecting its forested acres.

The department headquartered in Charlottesville says Virginia loses 16,000 acres of forestland each year and the agency is working to slow the loss of valuable forestland. Virginia forests provide more than $27.5 billion annually in benefits to Virginia with more than 144,000 employed in forestry, forest products and related industries.

Trible last served as a U.S. Senator in Virginia in 1988.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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