Ogdens Cave Natural Area Preserve expands
RICHMOND - Habitat for unique subterranean life will be further protected with the addition of 21 acres of wetlands to Ogdens Cave Natural Area Preserve in Frederick County.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation purchased the addition on Nov. 26. DCR manages the state's natural area preserve system.
Ogdens Cave supports diverse organisms that typically don't see the light of day. The cave is home to isopods, springsnails, beetles and other noteworthy invertebrates. An underground segment of Buffalo Marsh Run supplies organic matter that nourishes invertebrates living in the cave passages.
As a result of the land purchase, an additional 1,350 feet of Buffalo Marsh Run will be protected. DCR staff will maintain riparian buffers along the stream banks to protect water quality.
"Ogdens Cave has been recognized as a biologically important place for years," said DCR Director David A. Johnson. "This addition helps us to safeguard a delicate ecosystem whose survival depends on a healthy stream."
Funding came from 2002 state bond funds and the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, a partnership dedicated to freshwater conservation. The trust fund is managed by The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
"The trust fund prioritizes opportunities to expand already protected lands and add protection to ecologically sensitive aquatic systems such as Buffalo Marsh Run," said Karen Johnson, the conservancy's program manager for the trust fund.
Ogdens Cave became a state natural area preserve in 2007. In order to enhance water quality in Buffalo Marsh Run, nearly 8,000 native trees have been planted in the riparian zone, and 35 acres of upland fields have been restored to native warm-season grasslands.
The 21-acre addition puts the property at 131 acres.
The Virginia Natural Area Preserve System consists of 61 properties across the state. Natural area preserves support some of the best examples of natural communities and rare plant and animal species in Virginia, and the world. The addition to Ogdens Cave brings the preserve system to a total of 51,948 acres.
For more information about the Virginia Natural Area Preserve System, go to:http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/natural_area_preserves/index.shtml
Note from Shellie - I thought the BRFAL Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists would be interested in this press release, as we have met Ryan Klopf, Mountain Region Steward. Wouldn't this make a great field trip!