Woodlands tract to become part of Jefferson National Forest

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Nearly 5,000 acres (2,023 hectares) of woodlands in northern Botetourt County is to become part of the Jefferson National Forest.

The Roanoke Times reports the U.S. Forest Service used money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to buy the property in what it calls one of the largest purchases for conservation in Virginia.

The $5 million purchase was made possible earlier this year by a vote in Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a $900 million program that uses royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling to pay for protection of unspoiled lands.

The land, which includes 14 freshwater springs, borders Craig Creek and also includes the Grace Furnace, a historic pig iron facility that likely provided iron ore for munitions during the Civil War.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com

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