Forest Legacy Program

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture completed the acquisition of two tracts of land located in St. Croix as part of the Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program [Opens in New Window] These two purchases are the third and fourth properties acquired for Forest Legacy [Opens in New Window] in the U.S. Virgin Islands, making a total of 86 ha (213 acres) protected, and an investment of $2,118,000 from the Forest Legacy Program.

Hamm’s Bluff

On November 27, 2013 the U.S. Virgin Island’s Department of Agriculture closed on a 14 ha (35 acres) Forest Legacy property, Plot No. 3 Hamm’s Bluff, in the northwest of St. Croix. The plot is adjacent to the government owned Hamm’s Bluff property currently used by the Virgin Island’s National Guard. The forests in northwest St. Croix once hid bands of maroons, people who escaped from the injustice of slavery. Hamm’s Bluff is a steep cliff where some people jumped to their death rather than return to a harsh life as a slave. The tract was acquired for $279,000. Twenty five percent of that total was matched by $93,000 of value from a tract donated to the Trust for Virgin Islands Lands, Inc. through The Nature Conservancy.

Estate Northstar

On May 9, 2014 another tract was closed, a 41.3 ha (102.03 acres) Forest Legacy property, plots No 1, 1A, and 5 Estate Northstar in the north of St. Croix. The tract is a beautiful undisturbed forest that has been used by many hiking enthusiasts from the U.S. Virgin Islands and tourists, and is of cultural significance as it was also historically used as a home by maroons. The property was acquired for $970,000 and a twenty five percent match of $323,333 was provided by the value from the tract donated to the Trust for Virgin Islands Lands, Inc. through The Nature Conservancy.

Marilyn Chakkroff in the field at a table, with a printed map pointing to the property in St. Croix.

Image CaptionMarilyn Chakkroff, Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture Forest Legacy Coordinator, during Estate Northstar Forest Legacy Celebration.

Community Celebration

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture hosted a community celebration on June 20, 2014 to announce the Forest Legacy Program acquisitions. The activity was attended by community members, government officials, partners, and community groups. The department continues promoting community participation and hosting facilitated sessions attended by community groups and stakeholders to identify what types of activities are adequate for the Forest Legacy properties and should be included in their land management plans.


For more information about the Forest Legacy Program please contact Magaly Figueroa

Page last modified: 05/17/2018