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September 15, 2014

VDOF gives Prince William County more than $5,000

Pictured left to right: Area Forester Blake Jordan, Area Forester Kyle Dingus, Senior Area Forester Terry Lasher, Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland, L.E.A.F Intern Caitlyn Verdu, and Regional Forester Ed Zimmer.The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) presented a check worth $5,474 to Prince William County Gainesville District Supervisor Pete Candland. The check represented the County’s 25 percent share of the gross revenue generated from a timber sale conducted by the VDOF in 2013 on the Conway Robinson State Forest (CRSF).  The harvested area comprised 32 acres and was divided into three silvicultural treatments.

Senior Area Forester Terry Lasher said, “We are pleased to present our partners in Prince William County with this check and look forward to continuing this relationship.  Supervisor Candland and his staff have been great supporters of our efforts on the State Forest, and we look forward to building upon our successes.”

The State Forests of Virginia are self-supporting and receive no taxpayer funds for their operation. Operating funds are generated from the sale of forest products and forest use permits. In addition, up to 25 percent of the revenue received from the sale of forest products is returned to the counties in which the forests are located. 

Pictured left to right: Area Forester Blake Jordan, Area Forester Kyle Dingus, Senior Area Forester Terry Lasher, Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland, L.E.A.F Intern Caitlyn Verdu, and Regional Forester Ed Zimmer.

Tree seedling sales for the 2014-15 season

Officials with the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) announced that demand for its loblolly pine seedlings is very high this season, and the agency anticipates that some or all families will sell out early. Customers interested in purchasing VDOF’s specialty seedlings should visit www.buyvirginiatrees.com and setup an account prior to the opening date for the online store, October 14 at 10 a.m.

Due to limited nursery staff, customers are not advised to call the nursery to place these orders. VDOF recommends that tax exempt customers call the nursery prior to October 14 and setup their account with their tax-exempt credentials. Sales tax cannot be refunded. Customers can call the Garland Gray Forestry Center at 804.834.2855. To reach the Augusta Forestry Center, call 540.363.7000 or 540.363.5732.

The top loblolly pine varieities offered this season include Control Pollinated (CP) seedlings, limited to 25,000 per customer and priced at $135 per 1,000; Virginia’s Best ($105 per 1,000) and Elite ($85 per 1,000 ) seedlings will be limited to 50,000 per customer. These prices include pesticide treatment for Pales weevils.

All of VDOF’s loblolly pine seedlings provide growth gains over unimproved seedlings. The top three loblolly pine varieties are best suited for landowners who utilize silvicultural treatments, such as site preparation and woody vegetation control, on their pine stands as part of their sawtimber rotation. The actual growth gains of each loblolly family depend on the planting site, soil type and these expected treatments. 

All seedling varieties will be available for sale in limited quantities through the online store when it opens October 14.

VDOF tree nurseries seek public’s help with acorn and seed collection

Virginians can help preserve tree species by collecting acorns and seeds from 12 species and delivering them to the nearest office of the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). Acorns and seeds must be received by October 10.

The species most needed are: Alleghany Chinkapin; Chinese Chestnut; Hazelnut; Black Oak; Chestnut Oak; Northern Red Oak; Pin Oak; Swamp Chestnut Oak; Swamp White Oak; White Oak; Willow Oak, and Black Walnut.

When collecting acorns or seed: use paper bags (no plastic bags) to hold the acorns or seed; identify the tree species on the bag, and do not combine acorn or seed from different tree species in the same paper bag.

Grant funds tree biomass crop research

Grant recipients at Virginia Tech received $1.4 million to investigate the genetic regulatory networks that will allow an important bioenergy crop to be bred so it will grow in less than ideal soils and climate.

Populus, a genus of fast-growing trees, produces a significant amount of biomass in two years. Woody biomass can be converted to liquid fuels, such as ethanol.

“There has not been a market for it in the southeastern U.S., but there could be,” said Amy Brunner, associate professor of molecular genetics in the College of Natural Resources and Environment and an affiliate of the Fralin Life Science Institute. “It could also be a resource for power, pulp and paper.”

Read more about this project at http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2014/08/081914-cnre-brunnergrant.html

Farms plus trees equal happy herds, clean water

Farmers, their herds and property can benefit from bringing trees back into farming. Area landowners who want to learn how to manage trees, forage and livestock to make healthy herds can attend a day-long workshop focused on agroforestry riparian buffers and silvopasture systems.

Silvopasture is the intentional management of trees, forage and livestock. Agroforestry riparian buffers are bands of trees planted parallel to creeks.   These buffers provide opportunities to produce market products, such as fruits, nuts, florals and more. Since both practices intentionally incorporate trees in the landscape, they play an important role in improving our soil health and water quality.

This workshop will be held November 8th from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Lord Fairfax Community College’s Fauquier Campus.

A $15 registration fee will cover lunch served on site. For more information about the program, contact Paxton Ramsdell at 540.231.0790 or pramsdel@vt.edu. To register, visit http://forestupdate.frec.vt.edu/landownerprograms/registration/index.html

New brochure promotes logging careers

The American Loggers Council (ALC) and the Forest Resources Association (FRA) have produced “Is Working As A Logger For You?” For men and women considering a career in logging, the brochure will help them understand what logging work is like.

Groups and organizations can receive free copies of the brochure to distribute to potential logging workers. The brochure is available online at www.americanloggers.org/2014_LoggerBrochure_v3final.pdf.

Gov. McAuliffe: No fracking in George Washington National Forest

Citing assurances from federal officials, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said fracking for natural gas will not be allowed in the George Washington National Forest.

"I won't allow it as long as I'm governor," McAuliffe told the inaugural meeting of a climate change panel he created this summer. "We made it clear to everyone we will not allow fracking in our national forest. I'm not going to allow it."

The Forest Service initially proposed a ban on fracking in the forest, but it was met with opposition by the energy industry. Opponents fear the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will bow to the industry pressure. The decision rests with the USDA, which oversees the Forest Service.

Environmental and conservation groups have rallied against any fracking in the forest, which lies primarily in Virginia but also includes a sliver of West Virginia. They fear polluting the headwaters of a primary water source for the region and the industrial footprint drilling would bring.

The science on the impact of fracking has not been conclusive.

DOF personnel news

Mary Weaver is the new administrative staff specialist at Headquarters. She was previously the clerk to the Board of Supervisors and assistant to the county administrator in Fluvanna County.

Debbie Luna, program support technician at Headquarters, left VDOF to accept a position at the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.