The Campbell family were early settlers of Nelson County, subsistent farming the land for more than 100 years. Descendants of the original owners and siblings, Maybell Campbell, Owens Garfield Campbell and James Napoleon Campbell, lived off the land their entire lives and desired to preserve the natural landscape of their historic homestead in perpetuity. With the sale and ultimate protection of their 317-acre tract, the Campbells’ dedication to the land has been honored and  a key piece of the Appalachian Trail and our nation's treasured forests have been saved for other to enjoy.

Our Role

The Conservation Fund purchased the land from the family in May 2014 and conveyed it to the U.S. Forest Service in 2015 for permanent protection. The Forest Service received funds for the tract through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a bipartisan, federal program that uses a percentage of proceeds from offshore oil and gas royalties (not taxpayer dollars) to acquire critical lands and protect our country’s best natural resources. 

“As one of the last Appalachian homesteads, the Campbell family lived, for generations, on fresh water from the stream and what they grew on the land. Though that era is coming to an end, their legacy of good stewardship of the land they loved will carry on, and their mountainside will always be preserved. We’re grateful to Virginia's U.S. Congressional delegation for their continued support of LWCF, which enables important conservation efforts like this.”

—Blaine Phillips, Senior Vice President of The Conservation Fund

Why This Project Matters

The Campbell Property is encircled almost entirely by National Forest. Adding this land to George Washington and Jefferson National Forests will enhance the Forest Service's current management efforts and ensure continued improvement of the local Louisa Spring Branch, preserving clean drinking water within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The property offers more than just a scenic vista—this unique high-elevation landscape provides habitat to a number of threatened and endangered species, like the golden-winged warbler, and will provide new access to outdoor recreation activities like hunting and fishing. A key portion of the Appalachian Trail that has been a priority for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for years is now protected and accessible to thousands of the trail's hikers, giving them an uninterrupted view from the top of Spy Rock in perpetuity.

About the Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is in its 50th year, learn more about why its reauthorization and getting dedicated funding  is critically important.

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