The Virginia Natural Heritage Program (VNHP) in the Department of Conservation and Recreation has developed a network of natural lands for the commonwealth of Virginia. This project, named the Virginia Natural Landscape Assessment (VaNLA), is a landscape-scale geospatial analysis for identifying, prioritizing, and linking natural lands in Virginia. Using land cover data derived from satellite imagery, the VaNLA identifies large patches of natural land with at least one hundred acres of interior cover. This interior cover, known as core area, begins one hundred meters from patch edges. Small patches with ten to ninety-nine acres of interior cover are included as habitat fragments that support landscape corridors and that may be important in localities with few large patches of natural land. For simplicity in the remainder of this document, core areas and habitat fragments will be referred to collectively as ecological cores. Although the VaNLA is predominantly an analysis of forests, ecological cores include marshes, dunes, and beaches where these covers are abundant and exceed minimum size requirements.