Virginia protected over 26-thousand acres of open space across the state in 2012. The protected acres included streams, farmland and scenic roads or byways such as portions of a public hiking trail that borders the George Washington National Forest. The Virginia Outdoors Federation was established by the General Assembly in 1966 to encourage the preservation of natural and cultural heritage lands. The easements typically involved agreements between private landowners and land trusts. Landowners who donate easements receive state and federal tax breaks.