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January, 2012

VDOF Employee Donates Working Forest Easement in King William County; Three Tracts Total 1,199 acres

E. Pickett Upshaw, a forestry technician with the Virginia Department of Forestry, has granted the VDOF a working forest conservation easement that protects nearly 1,200 acres of land in King William County.

Upshaw becomes the first VDOF employee to permanently protect from development a large block of privately owned forestland through a donated easement to the VDOF. His conservation easement is the Agency’s 51st. The 1,199 acres of land, located near West Point, will be maintained with sustainable forest and farm management practices.

The donation is one of the largest of its kind to the VDOF and brings the total land conserved under this program to 16,813 acres.

Upshaw said, “Conservation easements are one of the tools that my family is using to ensure continuity of our farm and forestland usage. We want the land that has been in our family for six generations to pass to future generations without the pressures of residential development. The benefits of the rural lifestyle are something we want our family to continue to enjoy. Being surrounded by productive forestland and farmland and the pleasures of nature are some of the things we cherish. This donation to the VDOF will ensure that our land will be well managed for perpetuity.”

State Forester of Virginia Carl Garrison said, “It’s always terrific when people permanently conserve their working forestland, but this donation is extra special because it comes from one of our own. This conservation easement will ensure a continuous supply of forest products, including lumber and pulp, and environmental services, including clean air and water. The forestland on Pickett’s property helps protect the water quality and aquatic habitat in the Mattaponi River.”

For additional information on the VDOF conservation easement program, visit the VDOF website at

Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. Donates 150,000 Trees to Virginia; Brings 5-Year Total to 750,000 Trees

Galax-based Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. has purchased 150,000 tree seedlings from the Virginia Department of Forestry and is donating them for planting projects on private and public land across the Commonwealth in spring 2012. Since the introduction of the company’s 1-4-1 Program in the fall of 2007, Vaughan-Bassett has donated a total of 750,000 trees that clean the air, protect our waterways and enhance the quality of life throughout Virginia.

The 1-4-1 Program is the brainchild of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. Chairman of the Board John Bassett who has been a pioneer in the sustainable forest products movement. The company donates one tree seedling for every tree it harvests for use in the manufacture of its adult bedroom furniture.

Bassett said, “We are proud to be a partner with the Virginia Department of Forestry and of our role in helping our environment. We make 99 percent of our furniture in our Virginia and North Carolina factories, so we feel a special responsibility to make our bedroom furniture in the most environmentally responsible way that we can. The 1-4-1 Program is the key to us fulfilling that obligation.”

The Virginia Department of Forestry will get the donated seedlings into the hands of forest landowners, schools and other groups so that they can be planted in the spring.

Plow and Hearth Donates 141,000 Trees to Virginia; Brings Total to More Than 2.5 Million

Madison-based Plow and Hearth has donated 141,000 tree seedlings for planting in spring 2012 around the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Since partnering with the Virginia Department of Forestry in 1991, Plow and Hearth has donated more than 2.5 Million trees that help clean the air, protect our waterways and enhance the quality of life across the state.

VDOF Forester Jack Kauffman said, “Plow and Hearth cares deeply about the community and has a tremendous track record in this regard.  The company’s “Planting Two For One” program donates two tree seedlings for every one used in the production of its catalogue.  The Virginia Department of Forestry gets the donated seedlings into the hands of private landowners, schools and other groups so that they can be planted each spring. It’s a terrific partnership!”

Plow and Hearth President John Haydock said, “Plow and Hearth is proud to be able to plant two trees for every one used in the production of the catalogue. Our longstanding partnership with the Virginia Department of Forestry enables us to give back to the community. We support all the values that healthy forests provide, values that we can appreciate every day from our Madison office.”

Wheelin’ Sportsmen Help Manage Deer at the Matthews State Forest

The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) hosted its annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen deer hunt on the Matthews State Forest. Five hunters tagged 14 deer, including three antlered bucks – a four-pointer, seven-pointer and an eight-pointer - during a two-day period.

Wheelin’ Sportsmen, an outreach program of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to enjoy sports, such as hunting and fishing.

This is the fourth year VDOF has partnered with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and the NWTF on this event. The NWTF provided overnight accommodations, wheelchair-accessible portable blinds and gifts for the hunters and their family members. The Matthews Foundation provided funding for the meals; the Bojangles Restaurant in Galax donated breakfast Saturday morning.

In addition to providing the site and facilities, VDOF personnel provided transportation and general assistance for the hunters; guide services; game recovery and processing, and logistical support.

Maintaining and sustaining wildlife habitat is one of the goals of state forest management. Heavy browsing on seed, seedlings and saplings can result in unacceptably low amounts of regeneration. Scheduled hunts of whitetail deer can help reduce this threat to forest health.

Nature and Native Plants Focus of Workshop in Roanoke

Trees Virginia will hold its 12th annual Roanoke Plant Health Care workshop March 7, 2012. The workshop, which will be held at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, Va., is called “The Nature of Trees and Other Related Thoughts.”  Seating is limited to 200 people at this year’s day-long workshop.  Speakers include: Douglas Tallamy, Bob Lyons, Neil Hendrickson and Jim Flott. 

“This is going to be a very high energy, entertaining and educational workshop, all the speakers received  rave reviews from audiences when they have presented in Virginia and are prominent, nationally recognized presenters,” said Barbara White, urban forestry partnership coordinator with the Virginia Department of Forestry. Topics include: Bringing Nature Home; The Color of the Native Plant Palette; The Greening of Arboriculture – Why There Weren’t Any Good Ol’ Days; Let It Be an Oak, and a bare root tree planting demonstration.

Through March 1st, early registration, which includes the workshop, lunch and a continental breakfast, is $75for the general public. Additional discounts are available for students and municipal and non-profit employees. The rate increases to $85 after March 1st.  Contact Becky Woodson, 434.220.9024, for information on lodging, exhibiting, sponsorship and workshop registration.