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October 1, 2014

Sunday Hunting Not Permitted on State Forests

Officials at the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF)  remind all hunters that Sunday hunting on State Forests is prohibited.

“While a new law allowing hunting in Virginia on Sundays went into effect July 1st, that law applies only to private lands,” said Gary Heiser, manager of Virginia’s 24 State Forests.  “Hunting on Sunday is still prohibited on public lands, including the State Forests.”

Anyone with questions regarding the new Sunday hunting law is encouraged to contact his or her local Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries office or visit the agency’s website at

Several of Virginia’s State Forests are open for hunting in season on days other than Sunday.  “Regular” hunting during appropriate seasons is available at these State Forests: Appomattox-Buckingham; Cumberland; Prince Edward-Gallion; Big Woods; Browne; Dragon Run; Sandy Point; Channels, and Moore’s Creek.  During archery and muzzle-loading only seasons, hunting is available at the Lesesne and Chilton Woods state forests.  Archery only hunting is available at Matthews State Forest.  And a lottery permit hunt is offered at Conway Robinson State Forest.

Anyone hunting on any of these properties must have a State Forest Use Permit, which is available for purchase at any location that sells hunting licenses in Virginia.

Online store to open October 14 at 10 a.m.

Officials with the VDOF announced that preparation to open the online store is underway. Customers interested in purchasing VDOF’s seedlings should visit

Due to limited nursery staff, 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.

“We’ve loaded the inventory for the season and are performing numerous software and security tests,” said Harvey Darden, director of state lands. “We’re resolving issues as we test. At this time we’re on track to open October 14.” Darden noted that any delays to the opening would be posted on VDOF Online Store and website at

VDOF employee honored for fire prevention

Forester Specialist Ricky Butler of the Heartland Work Area within VDOF’s Central Region has been awarded the United States Forest Service’s Robert E. Browning Jr. Award.  This award recognizes excellence in fire prevention.  It’s named after a dedicated Southern firefighter who lost his life on Storm King Mountain – a wildfire in Colorado that killed 14 firefighters 20 years ago.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe presented the Browning Award for Excellence in Fire Prevention to Butler, a 36-year employee of the VDOF.

The Governor said, “This professional forester has fought a countless number of wildfires in Virginia and out West.  He’s delivered the fire prevention message to thousands of schoolchildren over three decades.  He’s conducted hundreds of prescribed burns to lessen the risk of wildfire.  In addition to his work days, he’s used his time off to promote fire safety.  He’s a close, personal friend of Smokey Bear.  And last year alone, he conducted 58 fire prevention programs in his work area.”

Butler thanked the Governor; noted the award from the U.S. Forest Service was a highlight of his professional life, and stated how proud he was to be working for the Virginia Department of Forestry.

McGlone named advisor of the year

The Virginia Master Naturalists presented their Chapter Advisor of the Year award to Jim McGlone, urban forest conservationist in VDOF’s Northern Virginia work area.  McGlone has been a tireless supporter of the Fairfax Master Naturalist chapter, which he helped organize in 2007.  Jim has dedicated many hours to the Fairfax program: teaching classes during two training programs each year; leading hikes, and providing expertise and insight during board meetings and chapter meetings.  Jim has nurtured relationships among a wealth of resources and experts in the Fairfax County community, resulting in tremendous awareness and support for training classes and volunteer work.

VDOF 100th Anniversary video

Current and former employees of the VDOF describe their careers and experiences in this oral history of the agency.

25th Anniversary of the American Chestnut Restoration Program

The Southwest Virginia Branch of the American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the American chestnut restoration program. The event will take place Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Glenn C. Price Research Laboratory in Meadowview, VA.

The anniversary celebration is an opportunity for families to learn about the restoration of the American chestnut, and enjoy an afternoon of food, live music and fun. The Glenn C. Price Research Farm will be open to visitors and tours of the lab where advanced genetic research is conducted will be available.

NC State plans large timber sale

North Carolina State University (NCSU) plans to sell most of the Hoffman Forest to a timber investment management organization (TIMO).

Resource Management Service of Alabama will buy about 56,000 acres near Jacksonville, North Carolina. The company manages about 230,000 acres of timber in North Carolina and about 2.6 million acres in the Southeast.

Hofmann Forest LLC plans to buy the remaining 23,000 acres, including the major open tracts.

University officials said they were selling the land because it wasn’t yielding enough income and wasn’t used much for research anymore. The forest had been producing about $2 million a year from timber sales, which fell to less than $900,000 in 2012.

Opponents say NCSU has downplayed the land’s research and environmental values. The forest sits in the drainage basins of three sensitive riversheds and provides habitat for a number of important species, including black bears.

The forest was bought in the 1930s by a private foundation so that its timber sales could fund the school’s forestry program. It was eventually given to the university endowment.

“Factory Man” to be featured in HBO mini series

Vaughan-Bassett Furniture chairman John Bassett III’s fight to take on China’s furniture manufacturers and save American jobs will be made into a mini-series for HBO. Bassett’s effort was dramatized in the bestselling book “Factory Man.”

The project will be co-produced by actor Tom Hanks and producer Gary Goetzman through their production company, Playtone, which has also produced “Band of Brothers,” “The Pacific” and “John Adams.”

In June, 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.

Appleton memorial fund

The Mid Atlantic Chapter of ISA and Trees Virginia established the Bonnie Appleton Memorial Fund (BAMF) to honor the memory of Dr. Bonnie Appleton. Dr. Appleton was a facilitator who brought together arborists, horticulturalists, nursery personnel and utility professionals to work collaboratively to solve industry issues. BAMF, and its accompanying scholarship program, will be a tribute to Appleton’s passion and advocacy for horticulture and arboriculture education and research.

To support this fund, visit

DOF personnel news

Chris Anhold is our new forester in the Headwaters Work Area, serving the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Russell and Tazewell. Chris has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Conservation from Virginia Tech and served on Tech’s Wildland Fire Crew.

Matt Wolanski is our new technician in the Shenandoah Work Area, serving the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren. Matt has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Resources Management from Virginia Tech.

Neil Brooks, forester serving Franklin, Henry and Patrick counties, is leaving VDOF to be a procurement forester with J.L. Gardner Hardwoods.

Thomas Yancey, 97, of Waverly, passed away Sept. 16.  He served as District Fire Chief in Waverly from January 1, 1949 until his retirement June 30, 1982.