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September 1, 2006

Welcome!

Thank you for taking time to review the newest communication vehicle of the Virginia Department of Forestry. The purpose of this monthly electronic newsletter is to provide you with timely information about the services we provide landowners; the research we conduct on your behalf, and the products that we offer to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

For the first three editions of this monthly publication, you will be able to access it directly from our website. Beginning with the December 2006 edition, this document will come to you via email if you choose to register for the free subscription. Simply take a minute to complete the “opt-in” form and you will have this information source delivered directly into your email box at the address you provide. The information you provide us as part of the subscription service will not be shared with, sold to or used by any government or private entity other than the Virginia Department of Forestry.

We invite your comments and suggestions about this electronic newsletter, as our goal is to provide you with the information and the resources you need. Please direct any comments or suggestions to John Campbell, director of public information.

VDOF Earns International Award For New Technology

The Virginia Department of Forestry earned the 2006 Special Achievement in Geographic Information System Award for its “exceptional work using GIS technology” through the creation of IFRIS – the Integrated Forest Resource Information System. IFRIS enables VDOF staff to better serve Virginia landowners by performing Web-based editing of geodatabases that store geometry of forest management activity areas and existing forest stand type/condition attribution using aerial photo imagery of each forested property.

“This award celebrates the achievement and vision of innovators in the GIS field,” said Jack Dangermond, president of ESRI Inc., the leading developer of GIS software in the world. “VDOF was selected out of more than 150,000 organizations worldwide for this honor.

State Forester Carl E. Garrison III said, “This award is well-deserved recognition for the tremendous effort put forth by Mindia Brown, John Scrivani and the GIS team. These talented and dedicated folks have created an Agency enterprise system that enhances our ability to better support decision making and to deliver top-notch customer service across the board. With nearly 400,000 forest landowners and 15.8 million acres of forest lands in Virginia, IFRIS enables us to better protect and develop healthy, sustainable forest resources for Virginians.”

Spanish-Language Tree Climbing & Chainsaw Safety Course Hosted by MAC-ISA, Virginia Extension & VDOF

More than 50 arborists took part in Virginia’s first-ever Spanish-language
  tree climbing and chainsaw safety course, which was co-sponsored by the Virginia
  Department of Forestry, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society
  of Aboriculture and the Virginia Cooperative Extension. The two-day program
  was held in Fairfax County’s Green Spring Gardens Park.More than 50 arborists took part in Virginia’s first-ever Spanish-language tree climbing and chainsaw safety course, which was co-sponsored by the Virginia Department of Forestry, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Aboriculture and the Virginia Cooperative Extension. The two-day program was held in Fairfax County’s Green Spring Gardens Park.

Funded by a grant from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, trainers from the Forest Industry Safety and Training Alliance taught participants everything from tree climbing and safety techniques to aerial rescue procedures to chainsaw operation and tree felling – all in Spanish.

Paul Revell, VDOF’s urban and community forest program manager, said, “This was a terrific opportunity to reach an important segment of our population with potentially life-saving information. The dangers associated with chainsaw operations and tree climbing are very real; so it’s vital to be able to deliver a focused safety program in a person’s native language. We are working to plan similar programs in other areas of Virginia.”

Forest Research Review Debuts This Month

A new, biannual reference publication focusing on the on-going research in Virginia’s forests will debut this month. “Forest Research Review” joins “Forest Health Review” as one of two publications designed to aid natural resource professionals and interested citizens in their efforts to ensure the health and sustainability of Virginia’s forested lands.

VDOF Research Program Manager Jerre Creighton and VDOF Research Forester Wayne Bowman have teamed up to write the 12-page, color publication, which is available electronically on the agency’s website.

“The Virginia Department of Forestry has a 50-year history of scientific research,” said Creighton. “We have published more than 120 research reports in this regard – all of which are available on our website. The purpose of the ‘Forest Research Review’ is to highlight some of the on-going research being conducted in Virginia so that more citizens can achieve their landowner objectives.”

Stream Water Turbidity Data More Readily Compared

The quality of Virginia’s water affects everyone, every day. A computer program has been developed that allows stream water turbidity measurements to be easily compared with benchmark values from Virginia Department of Forestry Reference Streams.

“Turbidity values over a full range of water volumes are computed, compared and graphed alongside values from protected forest reference streams,” said Sam Austin, VDOF hydrologist. “These comparisons can serve as helpful guidance for forest management and policy decisions as well as site-specific field evaluations.

Workshops & Conferences

The 11th annual Waynesboro Plant Health Care for Urban Trees workshop will be held Sept. 8 at the Waynesboro Country Club. A total of six sessions are offered at this event, called “Thinking Outside of the Bark.” Sessions include: Choosing Trees for Impact; The Ultimate Tree Stress!; New Approaches for Pest Management in Trees; Soil Compaction in the Field, and Young Tree Care.

Registration is $95, payable by check to “Trees Virginia.” The event is sponsored by the City of Waynesboro; Trees Virginia; the Virginia Department of Forestry; Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ISA, and the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association. Contact Dwayne Jones (540.942.6735) for more information.

The Income Opportunities for Woodlot Owners conference will be held Sept. 9 and 10 at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, located in Clifton Forge. Sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia State University, Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources, and the Virginia Department of Forestry, the conference is designed for woodlot owners seeking ways to increase income from products and services from their lands.

Registration is $60 and includes all conference materials plus three meals. Call 804.524-5960 to register today.

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