Forest cover is universally understood to be the best type of landcover for healthy rivers and streams. The images below show forest cover (in light green) for the 2014 Rapidan and Robinson River segments, and of particular importance is the landcover immediately adjacent to the river on both sides.
Note the preponderance of forest cover (green coloring) on the south side of the river east of Rt. 15 in the image above.
Note the generally greater amount of forest cover spread along the Robinson River (shown above), as compared to the Rapidan.
The Virginia Department of Forestry identifies Forest Conservation Value (FCV) for all forestland in the state. This ranking is based on the level of benefits provided by a particular area of forest combined with the threat of conversion to non-forest land use. Areas shown in the figures below in dark brown have the greatest priority for conservation programs.
Note the priority areas on the south side of the river east (right side) of Rt. 15 in Orange County, shown in brown, adjacent to the river.
The image below shows Forest Conservation Value for the Robinson River Valley.
Note the concentration of high forest conservation value area around Oak Park, towards the middle of this stretch.
Conservation easements are one tool that can help to maintain rural landscapes. The image below shows conservation easements along both sides of the Rapidan River. Though spotty, significant areas along both sides of the river are held in easement.
Conservation easements for the StreamSweeper 2014 Robinson River stretch are shown below. Note the lower proportion of area near the river in easement as compared to the Rapidan.