Photo by Robert Martin

After nearly a year of environmental violations at Fones Cliffs, this week brought promising news. On Oct.10, the Virginia Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit against Virginia True Corp. for illegal actions.  Additionally, Terrell Bowers, owner of 250 acres along Fones Cliffs near the Virginia True property, announced his land is under contract with The Conservation Fund. Ultimately, the property would be preserved as part of the Rappahannock River Valley Wildlife Refuge.

Fones Cliffs is a cultural, historical and environmental treasure. Friends of the Rappahannock offers its heartfelt thanks to the Attorney General, the Secretary of Natural Resources, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, for appreciating the gravity of the violations by Virginia True, and taking action to stop the ongoing noncompliance.

Friends of the Rappahannock is thankful Mr. Bowers has decided to pursue conservation of his 250 acres on the cliffs. While the sale has not closed, we are hopeful final arrangements will occur later this year, and appreciate the efforts of Mr. Bowers, The Chesapeake Conservation Fund, and other organizations to protect this ecologically-sensitive property.

FOR staff will continue to work with all parties involved at Fones Cliffs, property owners and regulators, to push for solutions that ensure protection of the Rappahannock River and its tributaries.

-Kathleen Harrigan, Executive Director