Board of Forestry
Minutes

The Board of Forestry met on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at the Department of Forestry Headquarters Office in Charlottesville. 

Convene Meeting

The formal Board meeting began at 10:05 a.m. on May 17, 2011. Those present were:  Anne Beals, Nadine Block, David Blount, John Burke, III,  J. Kenneth Morgan, David Wm. Smith, S. Lee Spradlin, Carl Garrison and Donna Hoy with the Department of Forestry.
The Board of Forestry members send their condolences to Mr. Miles on the loss of his Mother.

Call to Order

Chairman Blount called the meeting to order.
Ms. Hoy called roll.

Changes and Adoption of Agenda

Chairman Blount asked if there were any changes to the agenda.  Mr. Garrison requested that Southern Forest Futures Assessment be moved under New Business and that the Action Items be discussed prior to the State Forester’s Report.  The agenda was changed as suggested.

Approval of Minutes

Chairman Blount asked if there were any changes to the January 6, 2011 minutes.  Dr. Smith made the motion for the minutes to be approved as written.  Mr. Morgan seconded the motion.  All were in favor.

Recognition of Guests and Visitors

Chairman Blount welcomed Mr. Matt Conrad, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry; Ms. Ann Duff, Smurfit-Stone; Mr. Kurt Christensen, Landowner; Mr. John Carroll, Mr. Brad Williams, Mr. Rob Farrell, Mr. Joe Lehnen, Mr. John Pemberton, Mr. Ron Jenkins, and Mr. Ed Stoots with the Department of Forestry.

Public Comments

None

State Forester's Report

Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) Update

Mr. Pemberton reported that DOF had recently received the 2010 FIA data from the U.S. Forest Service.  This data shows changes in three areas:  forestland area, ownership, and ratio of net growth versus removals across Virginia.  This data was presented on a statewide basis, as well as by units (Coastal Plain, Southern Piedmont, Northern Piedmont, Northern Mountains, and Southern Mountains).  Mr. Pemberton also shared a summary of annual changes in tons for each of these units.

General Assembly Update

Mr. Garrison reported the Department fared very well during the 2011 General Assembly Session.  The Department received $1.3 million for equipment replacement (Master Equipment Lease Program) and had four field positions restored.  As a result, the Department plans to advertise six positions later this week.  The positions are:  Albemarle County Forester; Halifax County Forester; Isle of Wight County Technician; Mechanic stationed in Charlottesville; Powhatan/Cumberland County Forester; and Scott County Technician.  These positions are tied to public safety and protection of the forest resources.

Mr. Garrison also reported the Department is creating a pilot position to oversee all state lands and non-general fund programs.  This includes the state forests, nursery centers, Tree Improvement program and research.  The position’s title is Director of State Lands and will report directly to the Deputy State Forester.  Mr. Harvey Darden, Forester for Southampton County in the Eastern Region, has agreed to serve in this position in an acting capacity.  Mr. Darden has a lot of experience in all aspects of land management needed for the State Forest and Nursery systems.

The Regional Forester position for the Eastern Region is also opening.  Human Resource is finalizing the hiring announcement and it will post shortly.  The position will be open through 5 p.m. on Monday, June 20.  This position will be stationed at the New Kent Forestry Center.

Fire Season

Mr. Garrison reported the recent fall and spring fire seasons were intense.  February 14th and 19th were extreme fire days, with the 19th being the second worse single fire day in DOF’s modern history.  The 10-year average is 1,000 fires that have burned between 11,000-12,000 acres.  On February 19 the Department reported 190 fires for 7,608 acres.

Since January 1 to date, there have been 617 fires for 11,336 acres, with 848 homes protected.

Best Management Practices for Water Quality Technical Manual

Mr. Garrison gave each Board member a copy of the 2011 “Best Management Practices for Water Quality Technical Manual”.  He suggested the Board members use this manual as a reference source as the need arises.  The 2010 audit of water quality data indicates Virginia has an 84% compliance of all best management practices statewide.

Action Items

BOF Memorandum of Procedures

Chairman Blount opened the floor for discussion/comments on the recent draft Memorandum of Procedures completed by a sub-committee consisting of himself, Mr. Burke, Ms. Beals, and Dr. Smith.  The Board of Forestry Memorandum of Procedures had not been looked at for revisions for at least eight years. 

Mr. Burke pointed out that much of the language used in this Memorandum of Procedures came out of the Statute.

Mr. Garrison stated effective July 1, 2011, the Governor’s appointments shall be staggered with four members for a term of one year, three members for a term of two years, and four members for a term of three years.  Thereafter, appointments shall be for four-year terms.  The staggered terms will begin July 1, 2014 and will have no affect on the current Board until that time.

Ms. Block questioned if having the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson serving no more than two consecutive years would pose a problem when the staggered terms begins for Board members.  The sub-committee had discussed this and didn’t feel it would pose a problem for the Board.

Mr. Garrison questioned the opinion of the Board regarding his role on the Board as the Executive Officer and whether that applies to voting and counting as a Board “third” member which is deemed by Code to be an official meeting.  The Code is not clear on the Executive Officers role in these regards.

Mr. Spradlin pointed out that New Business is on the current Board of Forestry agenda, but is not listed in the draft Memorandum of Procedures Agenda Section.  He also felt if you have New Business as an agenda item, Old Business should be included as well.

Chairman Blount stated the sub-committee will look further at the Code and comments made at the meeting before finalizing the Memorandum of Procedures.  The sub-committee will do further research and make any necessary changes to the draft Memorandum of Procedures and have ready for discussion at the October meeting.

BOF Feedback on DOF Regulations

At the January 6, 2011 meeting, Mr. Garrison provided each Board member with the Department’s four regulations:  Public Participation Guidelines (4VAC10-11-10); Standards for Classification of Real Estate as Devoted to Forest Use Under the Virginia Land Use Assessment Law (4VAC-10-20-10); Virginia State Forests Regulations (4VAC-10-30-10); Reforestation of Timberlands Regulations (4VAC-10-40-10).  Mr. Garrison stated the Department of Forestry had begun the process of updating these regulations, and is currently looking at the State Forest regulations.  The Department will share any regulation updates with the Board for their review/comment as they move forward with updating these regulations.

Mr. Burke stated the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is in the process of revising their regulations and he recommended that the Department look at theirs and to not reinvent the wheel.

The Board recommended that the Department of Forestry include the Reforestation of Timberlands Board in the review of 4VAC-10-40-10 so they can provide input/comments on possible revisions.  Once they have completed their review, the Board would like to receive a copy of their comments, etc. prior to reviewing.

State Assessment Strategy of Virginia’s Forestry Facilitated Session

Discussion on the State Assessment was facilitated by Mr. Farrell and Mr. Lehnen with the Department of Forestry.  Prior to the meeting, each Board member was provided a list of DOF goals, resources and questions for discussion.

The four goals that were discussed were:

Protect the citizens, their property and the forest resource from wildfire.

Conserve the forestland base.

Promote forest industry and diversified markets for forest landowners, including ecosystem service markets.

Strengthen the culture of preparedness across state agencies, their employees and customers.

Board members were asked to share their thoughts and ideas for each of the four goals, based on the questions.  The members were asked to “vote” on the top four ideas generated from the discussion.  The ideas are summarized in the attached document.

Committee Liaison Reports

Mr. Burke reported the American Forest Foundation (Tree Farm and PLT Programs) has decided to award significant revenues to strengthening the Tree Farm system, but also for reaching out to people who are unengaged and may not find Tree Farm and certification attractive.  The idea is to maybe get landowners who would be interested in habitat, watershed, or other forest related certification but not necessarily certification.
Mr. Spradlin recognized the Virginia Forestry Association, Association of Consulting Foresters and Society of American Foresters for getting together for a joint meeting in April in Williamsburg.  He reported the program was terrific and he commends those organizations for doing a joint meeting as it was a great opportunity for all involved.

New Business

Southern Forest Futures Assessment
Mr. Garrison shared a copy of “The Southern Forest Futures Project: Summary Report” released in early May.  This technical report is open for a 60-day public comment period and focuses on 2010-2060.  The report summarizes the findings of the Southern Forest Futures Project in an effort to anticipate the future and to analyze what the interaction of future changes might mean for the forests of the South and the services they provide in the 13 Southern States.  Phase II of this report is expected to be released sometime in December 2011.

Scheduling of Next Meetings

The next meeting of the Board will be October 19-20 at The Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia. 
The following meeting will be January 12, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. 
When the specific details are worked out for these meetings, the Board will be notified via e-mail.

Adjournment

There being no further business, Chairman Blount accepted a motion that the meeting be adjourned.  The meeting was officially adjourned at 3:18 p.m.


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,
Donna S. Hoy
Donna Hoy
Recording Secretary
c:          Board Members
The Honorable Todd Haymore, 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. Kurt Christensen
Mr. Charles F. Finley, Jr.
NOTE:  Tapes of Board meetings are on file in the Office of the State Forester.