Natural Resource Management Plan
The Fairfax County Park Authority Board adopted the agency's first Natural Resource Management Plan on Wednesday, January 14, 2004. This plan coordinates agency-wide efforts to achieve the resource preservation vision for the Park Authority outlined in the current Strategic Plan and mission statement. As the county's largest landowner, with more than 22,000 acres of land and 375 parks, much of the responsibility for preserving Fairfax County's rich natural heritage rests with the Park Authority.
Open space requires active management in order to retain its value and to minimize the impacts of surrounding development, storm water run-off, water and air pollution, invasive plants, wildlife conflicts and encroachments by adjoining property owners. The five-year plan creates a system-wide approach to meet these natural resource management challenges. Annual implementation plans are created to define the scope of work for each year. Some of the plan's strategies can be accomplished with existing fiscal and personnel resources, while others will require additional support.
The plan contains seven elements: Natural Resource Management Planning, Vegetation, Wildlife, Water Resources, Air Quality, Human Impact on Parklands, and Education. Each one of these areas is explored in the plan with strategies and issues detailed.
The Natural Resource Management Plan has now been in place for five years and while much progress has been made, there is much more to do and the NRMP remains the Park Authority's roadmap to successful resource stewardship. The plan has been administratively revised and was approved by the Park Authority Board on September 9, 2009. The only changes in this plan update include removing outdated references to the Strategic Plan, updating the policy references in the Appendix, changing dates and updating the board and staff listings. The Agency is committed to revisiting the NRMP each year to ensure it is still relevant, with a possible complete revision in 2013. An accompanying document outlines the accomplishments that have been made in the last five years. Much of what remains to be done in the NRMP requires additional staff and funding. Until then staff will continue to make progress and add to the last five years of success.