Board of Forestry
Minutes

The Board of Forestry met on Friday, May 21, 2010, at Expo Richmond, in Richmond, Virginia.   

Convene Meeting:

The formal Board meeting began at 9:30 a.m. on May 21, 2010.  Those present were:  C. Harrell Turner, David Blount, R. Easton Loving, Marvin P. Wilson, III, Frank Brooks, Hillary Little, E. Lee Showalter, Floyd H. Miles, Sr. and Carl Garrison, III and Donna Hoy with the Department of Forestry. 

Call to Order:

Chairman Turner called the meeting to order.

Ms. Hoy called roll.

Changes and Adoption of Agenda:

Chairman Turner asked if there were any changes that needed to be made to the agenda.   No changes were made to the agenda.

Approval of Minutes:

Chairman Turner asked if there were any corrections/deletions to the October 23, 2009 minutes.  Mr. Blount made the motion for the minutes to be approved as written.  Mr. Loving seconded the motion.  All were in favor.

Recognition of Guests and Visitors:

Chairman Turner welcomed Mr. Andrew Smith, Virginia Farm Bureau; Mr. J. Randall Bush, Virginia Forest Products Association; Mr. Bud Watson, Virginia Forest Watch; Mr. Bradley Williams, Mr. John Campbell and Mr. Ronald Jenkins, with the Department of Forestry.

Hearing of Citizens and Delegations:

Mr. Bush stated it was the 50th year for the Logging Expo event (held in Richmond every other year).  He reported registrations from 44 states and 14 foreign countries.  

Information Items:

None

State Forester's Report:

New Administration

Mr. Garrison stated the new administration has given focus to the forestry and agriculture community.  The Governor has attended four different forestry related events since taking office.  The Secretariat of Agriculture and Forestry has been assigned a new role of marketing and promoting forestry and agriculture commodities.  The new administration understands these industries contribute $78 ½ billion and is the largest economic engine for the Commonweatlh.

DOF Stewardship Management Plans

The Department of Forestry (DOF) recently had a meeting with the Association of Consulting Foresters to discuss providing information to private landowners about the availability of private sector forestry professionals to provide services to them.  Mr. Garrison stated it was a very good, constructive meeting.  DOF agreed to make an effort to recommend consulting foresters to the landowner.  If a consulting forester cannot provide the service in a timely fashion, DOF will perform the requested service.  If the landowner requests the services of DOF and does not want to use a consulting forester, DOF will provide needed services.

One service in particular was the writing of stewardship plans.  The Department will offer a list of consultants to the landowners and will continue to provide training to consulting foresters on writing stewardship plans.

Mr. Loving complimented Mr. Garrison for his leadership and pro-active manner in which the DOF has worked with the Association of Consulting Foresters since his appointment as State Forester.

Mr. Turner felt it was a good meeting and recommended DOF continue to meet with the Association of Consulting Foresters a minimum of every six months.

RT Program

Mr. Garrison reported on a recommended change in the Reforestation of Timberlands (RT) program for the Board’s comments where a priority approval process for RT applications would be implemented.  A landowner with a Stewardship Plan or equivalent, would receive first approval, and those without would be batched and approved after a predetermined date.  This proposal has been reviewed/discussed by the Reforestation of Timberlands Board and they have given their support for this change.  This change would put a greater emphasis on landowners having a sound management plan and would allow more incentives for them and will be phased in within the next year.  This year’s RT Program funding is set.

The Board was supportive of the process, but expressed concern that small landowners may miss out on funding and there may be more landowners with a stewardship plan than available funding.  The Board also recommended an exemption for landowners with 50 acres or less.

Mr. Garrison confirmed that having a Stewardship Plan or equivalent was only one of the needed criteria to qualify for RT funding.

FY2011 USFS State & Private Forestry Appropriations

Mr. Garrison shared a handout on the FY2011 USFS State and Private Forestry appropriation recommendations listing the key priorities and funding recommendations as information/talking points for the Board.  The President’s proposed budget cuts would reduce State Fire Assistance by $25 million, Forest Health by $7 million and Forest Inventory and Analysis would be reduced by $5 million. 

A proposed increase was listed for Urban and Community Forestry and Forest Stewardship Program, but this increase will not put the funding level where it needs to be.

State Assessment

DOF staff is working hard on completing the state assessment by the June 18, 2010 deadline.  Mr. Garrison reported that the state assessment will be posted to DOF’s website for final review.  The proposed date for the document to be ready for final review is June 1, 2010.

State Forest Regulatory Change Update

Mr. Jenkins reported that the public comment period had ended for Proposed Regulation 4VAC10-30 (amending 4VAC10-30-170) amending the requirements for concealed carry of handguns in State Forests.  This proposed regulation change is in the final stage.  Comments from the public meeting can be found on DOF’s website at http://www.dof.virginia.gov/stforest/amendment-handguns.htm

Mr. Jenkins will meet with staff at the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry’s office to review the comments, etc. before moving forward with the next step.

American Tree Farm MOU/Forest Certification

DOF drafted a MOU with the Virginia Tree Farm Committee and the Natural Resource Conservation Service to mutually recognize that national USFS Forest Stewardship Plan standards, meet national American Forest Foundation management planning standards as adopted by the Virginia Tree Farm Committee, and that these management planning standards meet Forest Stewardship Plan Standards.  The MOU also states that NRCS 106 Conservation Plans, Forest Management component standards meet both Forest Stewardship and Tree Farm plan standards.  Each of the three forest management plan types will be mutually recognized and all meet the same criteria.  The benefit of all three programs is landowners can take advantage of the benefits offered by the three programs simply by making a request.  The official signing by all three agencies will happen in the near future.

Mr. Garrison stated this MOU will open the market for broader potential for landowners (International markets requiring certification, ability to market their timber to firms that require certification programs, increase ranking qualifications, etc.) while allowing more Virginia landowners to have a certification program available to them that is not cost prohibitive to them.  DOF’s State Forests will also be eligible for tree farm certification when the process is complete.

Miscellaneous

Mr. Garrison gave each Board member a DOF Issues Review Paper for their use when meeting/talking with public partners, local delegations, constituency groups, etc. 

Each member was given a Job Creation Per $1 Million Investment shared by the Dean of Virginia Tech.  Mr. Garrison pointed out that the top job producer per million dollar invested in a program was forestry related.  The handout shows all most 40 jobs are created for every million dollar invested in forestry.

Board Member Recognition

Mr. Garrison recognized the four Board members who are not eligible for reappointment:  Mr. Turner, Mr. Loving, Mr. Showalter and Ms. Webster (absent).  Each member was given a plague and wooden bowl for their hard work, dedication, and contribution to the Board of Forestry for the past eight years.

Mr. Garrison stated that if other members of the Board are not reappointed, they would be invited to the next Board of Forestry meeting and would be duly recognized for their contribution to the Board as well.

Action Items:

None

Committee Liaison Report:

Mr. Turner stated Board members will be needed to fill in on Committee/Liaison Assignments for those members who will not be reappointed.  Each member was give a Committee/Liaison Assignment sheet listing current assignments so they will be aware of areas that need to have replacements.

Other Business:

Mr. Turner thanked the Board members for the opportunity to serve as Chair for the past eight years and for their efforts/involvement with the Board, which has been very pro-active.   He also thanked the DOF staff for working with the Board and making meeting arrangements.  Mr. Turner expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to travel throughout the state to see forest industry and how it operates in different parts of the state. 

Mr. Loving agreed with Chairman Turner’s remarks and added that serving on the Board of Forestry has been a great experience professionally and personally.  He remarked that the DOF is an outstanding agency that is recognized amongst its peers and outside the state of Virginia as a very strong agency and he feels forestry is very successful because of the strength of the DOF.

Mr. Showalter agreed with Mr. Turner and Mr. Loving and stated he would push the continuing Board members to hold meetings across the state and see what is going on with different parts of the forest products industry because it is entirely different from Southwest Virginia, Eastern Shore, Front Royal, etc. and other locations the Board has visited.

Scheduling of Next Meetings:

The next meeting of the Board will be decided after new members are appointed to the Board. 

 Adjournment:

There being no further business, Chairman Turner accepted a motion that the meeting be adjourned.  The meeting was officially adjourned at 11:33 a.m.

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

                                                                        Donna S. Hoy

                                                                        Donna Hoy
Recording Secretary

c:          Board Members
The Honorable Todd Haymore, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry
Mr. Matt Conrad, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry
Dr. Paul Winistorfer, Dean, College of Natural Resources, Virginia Tech
Mr. J. R. Bush, Virginia Forest Products Association
Mr. Paul Howe, Virginia Forestry Association
Mr. David E. Anderton, Jr., Association of Consulting Foresters
Ms. Tammi Belinsky, WildWood
Mr. Steve Brooks, Virginia Forest Watch
Ms. Ann Duff, Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation
Mr. Jim Mooney, Virginia Loggers Association
Mr. Gerald Gray, Virginia Forest Watch
Ms. Donna Pugh-Johnson, Virginia Agribusiness Council
Ms. Martha Moore, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation
Mr. Roger Sherman, MeadWestvaco Corporation
Ms. Staci Henshaw, Auditor of Public Accounts
Mr. Andrew Smith, Virginia Farm Bureau
Mr. Jason Woodfin, Virginia Forest Watch
Mr. Bud Watson, Virginia Forest Watch
Mr. Charles F. Finley, Jr.
Mr. Kurt Christensen
NOTE:  Tapes of Board meetings are on file in the Office of the State Forester.