The Threat to Rural Loudoun
In the words of our founder, Walter Nicklin, “Affinities, not simply geography, create the Piedmont’s unique regional identity. The Piedmont Virginian strives to give voice to this special—even magical—place in the hopes that it remains so.”
As proponents of preservation of rural areas, open space, and history, we keep an eagle eye on what is happening in Loudoun County currently, as it serves to warn other Piedmont counties of encroaching development. As the fastest-growing county in Virginia, with some of the most spectacular rural landscapes to be found within 50 miles of a major metropolitan area, Loudoun is now a hotbed of battles between those who seek to preserve — in its western environs, at any rate — its history, landscape, and rural way of life, and those who support the westward march of suburbanization and urbanization.
To this end, three Loudoun conservationist residents, writers Charlie and Emily Houston and photojournalist Doug Graham have come together in this issue to present us with an overview of the threats to Loudoun and some of the efforts to preserve its rural areas. Graham’s iconic photography of rural Loudoun graces the pages of these two articles.