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Forestry News

January 2015


VDOF Awarded $1.3 Million to Aid Landowners in Virginia

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) $1.3 Million to help landowners better manage their forestland.  VDOF's project, called "Forests -- Fundamental for Conservation in Virginia," was one of 115 projects funded nationally under the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

NRCS State Conservationist for Virginia Jack Bricker made the announcement at a news conference Jan. 16th on Capitol Square in Richmond.

State Forester of Virginia Bettina Ring said the grant will help landowners pay for forest management practices that: prevent runoff from entering the Chesapeake Bay; restore declining tree species such as Longleaf pine and Shortleaf pine; reestablish habitat for bobwhite quail, and mitigate invasive plant and insect species in the forests.
Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore said, "Forestry is big in Virginia.  It's a $17 Billion economic engine that employs more than 103,000 people.  This RCPP grant will provide much-needed financial assistance to landowners who want to keep their working forests working."


Holiday Lake Forestry Camp is Accepting Nominations for the 69th Annual Camp

Nominations are now open for the 69th annual Holiday Lake Forestry Camp, which will be held June 15-20 at the Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center.  The action-packed camp is hosted by the VDOF with support and cooperation from other conservation agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals.

Forestry Camp provides a unique field-based learning experience related to natural resource career paths.  Topics include wildlife habitat, tree identification, timber harvesting, reforestation, environmental protection and more.  Campers also take part in field trips, exploratory classes, outdoor recreation and a Lumberjack Field Day.

Teachers, natural resource professionals and others working with youth may make nominations for this popular camp.  Nominees must be Virginia residents 13-16 years old with good academic standing, have an interest in natural resources and must not have attended Forestry camp previously.

Financial sponsorship is generously provided by forest industries, conservation agencies, associations and individuals.  As a result, every camper selected to attend receives a scholarship and pays only $85 to attend the week-long residential camp.

To nominate a camper, visit the VDOF website: http://dof.virginia.gov/forestry/camp/.  Nominations are due by April 1, 2015.  For more information, contact Ellen Powell at 434.220.9083 or via email at ellen.powell@dof.virginia.gov. 


Tillet Family Records VDOF's First Cumberland Co. Conservation Easement

Jim and Betty Tillet have protected their 287 acres of forestland in Cumberland County with a conservation easement -- VDOF's first in that county.

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a government agency or land trust that permanently limits development of the land, thereby protecting such conservation values as forestry, agriculture and wildlife habitat. Easement terms, which are developed between the landowner and the holder, are perpetual and apply to all future landowners.  No change to the ownership of the property occurs.  Landowners continue to own, use and control their land, and they can pass it on to heirs or sell it. Easement agreements do not require landowners to provide public access.

Virginia loses about 16,000 acres of forestland each year, so conservation easements are important tools in the effort to slow the loss of forestland.  And with two-thirds of forestland in Virginia owned by individuals and families, keeping working forests working is a family decision that affects all Virginians.

If you are interested in learning more about conservation easements, contact Rob Suydam (804.291.7623) or Kim Biasiolli (434.220.9184).


Tree seedlings selling fast; order yours before they’re gone

Each year, the VDOF grows and sells more than 25 million tree seedlings. And every year, many of the more than 40 species sell out before the harvest season ends in April. If you are looking to plant tree seedlings or reforest your land this year, you still have a few weeks remaining to order your seedlings. 

Seedlings are available in quantities as low as 10 or 25; these small quantities can be beneficial to landowners of modest-size forested tracts. Order yours today by visiting the VDOF Web store, calling the Augusta Forestry Center at 540.363.7000, or contacting your local VDOF office.






Workshops and Events

Woods and Wildlife Conference 
March 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Germanna Community College's Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper.  To register online or download a brochure, visit www.forestupdate.frec.vt.edu.  Registration deadline is March 1.  For more info, contact Sandra Lillard at 540.948.6881 or slillard@vt.edu

Botetourt County Wildfire Open Houses
Feb. 4 at Buchanan Town Hall; Feb. 5 at Eagle Rock Library; Feb. 11 at Fincastle Library, and Feb. 12 at Troutville Town Hall.  All gatherings begin at 7 p.m.


Important Dates

Spring Fire Season
4 PM Burn Law in Effect Feb. 15 to April 30.

Forestry Camp
Nominations close April 1.


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