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July 1, 2014

State Forester Presents Highest Honor to Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company

Forester Bettina Ring, center, presented the Crown Award to Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company in recognition of the company’s leadership, support and commitment to sustainable business practices through its innovative 1-4-1 Program.State Forester Bettina Ring presented the Crown Award to Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company in recognition of the company’s leadership, support and commitment to sustainable business practices through its innovative 1-4-1 Program. The Crown Award is the highest honor that can be bestowed by the State Forester of Virginia.

Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company created the 1-4-1 Program seven years ago to help ensure the many environmental benefits provided by trees would continue following timber harvests conducted so that the company could build its adult bedroom furniture. For every tree harvested, Vaughan-Bassett purchases a tree seedling from the Virginia Department of Forestry and donates the tree seedling to landowners for planting on their property.

“We use about 135,000 trees annually to build some of the best solid wood furniture here in America,” said John Bassett, chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company. “To ensure that there are trees to clean our air and water, provide habitat for wildlife and absorb carbon gas, we are donating 150,000 tree seedlings to Virginians each and every year.  Since we created the 1-4-1 Program, we’ve planted more than 1 million trees (1,050,000 to be exact) in just seven years.”

State Forester Bettina Ring said, “Trees are a renewable natural resource. By planting a new tree for every tree it harvests, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company has established itself as the sustainability leader in the furniture industry.  We’re proud to be the company’s partner in its innovative 1-4-1 Program. And we’re honored to be able to recognize the company’s success in surpassing the million- trees-planted milestone through the presentation of the Crown Award.”

Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company, which employs 700 people at its factory and office in Galax, Virginia, is only the second commercial enterprise to receive the Crown Award in the 100-year-history of the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF).

Fire Officials Urge Caution With Fireworks, Sparklers

While legal fireworks and sparklers are a popular part of July 4th celebrations, in most areas of Virginia they could become a cause of wildfires this year.

“One spark is all it would take for a wildfire to start,” said Fred Turck, assistant director for wildfire prevention and education with the VDOF. “Fireworks that have finished burning are still extremely hot, and they can smolder in dry grass or leaves before a fire ignites.”

Turck recommends keeping a bucket of water, wet towel and a fully-charged garden hose nearby. Children and pets should also be kept a safe distance away from igniting and spent fireworks.

Forestry officials indicate that it's not just cities’ and towns’ pyrotechnic shows that pose a threat. Personal use of fireworks, cookouts and bonfires that are popular during the holiday could start fires that would spread rapidly in the dry conditions.

The VDOF recommends following these safety tips:

  • Buy from reliable fireworks sellers and use only those that are legal for use in Virginia and your locality.
  • To detonate fireworks, find a flat surface, away from buildings, dry leaves and grass.
  • Have water, a rake and shovel on hand in case of a fire.
  • Insist on adult supervision when buying or setting off fireworks.
  • Read and follow label directions, warnings and instructions.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never try to re-light fireworks that have not detonated.
  • Never give fireworks to small children; even sparklers can cause serious burns.
  • Keep all pets especially dogs away from any fireworks.

Forestry Camp Wrap Up

The top-scoring camper Emma Dulog, pictured at right with counselor Drew Arnn.The 68th annual Holiday Lake Forestry Camp was another fun-filled, learning-packed success. Sixty-eight campers from 35 counties and cities participated this year.

Camp's core classes were Tree Identification and Forest Measurements; Sustainable Forestry and Wildlife Management; Forest Ecology and Management, and Environmental Protection, Reproducing the Forest and Tree Improvement. Other camp experiences included a field trip to Greif-Riverville paper mill, advanced forestry topics, and wildlife presentations. Exploratory short courses, Lumberjack competition, sports and swimming rounded out the program.

The campers took home excellent resource materials, including tree identification books. The top 10 campers (as scored academically throughout the week) received awards of outdoor recreation supplies. The top-scoring camper was Emma Dulog from Henrico County.

Donations from organizations, businesses, and foundations - exceeding $18,000 - allowed campers to attend at minimal personal cost.

Nominations for the 2015 Forestry Camp will open in January. Camp is open to Virginia boys and girls ages 13-16 with an interest in natural resources, who have not attended before.

Keeping A Forest in the Family for Future Generations

More than 10 million acres of Virginia’s woodlands belong to nearly 374,000 family forest owners. And, 51 percent of these owners are ages 65 years or older. Some have owned their land for generations; others, only a few years. As they look ahead, many landowners want to keep their land in the family but don’t know where to begin or how to engage the next generation of owners. The upcoming “Family Forest Landowner" workshop series introduces concerned landowners to the options available to transfer their land and legacy to the next generation.

“Focusing on Forestland Transfer to Generation ‘NEXT’” is being offered July 29 and August 5 at the Moton Museum in Farmville. This two-day program will help family forest landowners successfully plan the transfer of their woodlands, intact, from one generation to the next.

Current and future owners of family woodlands will learn family communication basics, estate planning tools and succession planning strategies to help ensure their family woodland legacy.

Speakers include legal and financial experts experienced in estate planning, forest landowners who have worked through succession planning, and natural resource professionals who work with landowners to conserve and manage land.

Jason Fisher, extension forestry agent with Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Central District region, said, “We’re on the verge of the largest intergenerational land transfer in Virginia’s history. The management decisions made by family forest owners play a crucial role in maintaining a viable forestland base in Virginia. These family woodlands are relied upon for not only the sustained flow of forest products, but for invaluable natural benefits, such as clean air and water, wildlife habitat and overall quality of life.”

For more information, please go to http://tinyurl.com/vagennext or contact the Central District Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Program at 434.476.2147 or the VDOF at 434.220.9182.

Forestry Online Store Closed

Officials with the VDOF announced that the agency’s online store has temporarily closed. Online sales are expected to resume in August. During the time that the online store is closed, VDOF will be accepting orders by mail.

Timber Export News

US Sawlog Prices Started Falling in the 2Q/14 after Three-Year Upward Trend – Forest Industry Network

DOF Personnel News

Clarence “C.T.” Bryant, mechanic at the Headquarters, shop left VDOF to work as a mechanic for Caterpillar Corp.

Kevin Dodson is our new technician in the Mattaponi Work Area of the Eastern Region. Kevin is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.