Forestry News

As a VFA member, you're kept up to date with forestry news through our e-newsletter What's Happening in Virginia Forestry Today.  See our most recent issue below:

vfa voice
 

Friday, July 27, 2018   

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Three Rivers Forestry, LLC

 Are you having issues with your land, but are not quite sure what to do about it?  Contact Three Rivers Forestry, LLC today for all of your consulting forester needs. 


issue

VFA News

Programs

Events

Government Relations


Membership

State News

Update on Investment of Former Bear Island Paper Mill

EPA Assessment of Virginia's Efforts on Chesapeake Bay Restoration Shows Progress

Speyside Bourbon Cooperage to Establish Operations in Smyth and Washington Counties

The Continued Growth of Virginia's Forests and Forest Economy

National News

Farm Bill Update

Proposed Amendments to Endangered Species Act

Update on Beyer Amendment

House Passes Interior Appropriations in "Minibus"

Member Spotlight


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Sponsor an issue of 
The VFA Voice


VFA Welcomes New Members

Upcoming VFA Partner, Committee, and Task Force Meetings

VFA Membership Benefits

Contribute to the Virginia Forest Resources PAC Online

GenerationNext Workshop

Chords 4 Kids Benefit Concert


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VFA Welcomes New Members

 VFA is happy to welcome the following new members to our association this month:

  • Jake Davis
  • H & P Hunt Club
  • Southern Forestry, LLC
  • The Chic Hunt Club/Osborn Marsh
  • Garnett Russell Vaughan Jr. 
  • Whisper Farm Hunt Club

Upcoming VFA Partner, Committee, and Task Force Meetings

The following meetings will be taking place in and out of the VFA office throughout the month of August:

  • August 3 - 2019 Virginia Forestry Summit Planning Committee Meeting

  • August 13 - Land Use Task Force Meeting

  • August 14- VFEF Board of Directors Meeting

  • August 23 - Nominations Committee Meeting 

 

VFA Membership Benefits

VFA Members receive discounts from the following organizations:

The codes needed to receive these discounts can be accessed by logging into your member profile or by contacting the VFA office. 

Contribute to the Virginia Forest Resources PAC Online

Influencing public policy is a tough assignment, especially when it comes to our forests. The Virginia Forest Resources Political Action Committee (VaForest PAC) provides a means to educate our policy makers on the importance of forestry to Virginia and gives financial assistance to candidates who recognize and support forestry interests.  You can now contribute to the PAC online by clicking here.


GenerationNext Workshops

generation next workshop

Are you prepared to pass the environmental and heirloom values rooted in your forest to the next generation? Researching and planning ahead can ensure that your wishes are met while minimizing the financial costs and emotional challenges.  Join us to learn how to secure your woodland legacy. This summer we are offering 4 half-day mini-workshops, and 2 two-day in-depth workshops on this important topic.  Choose the length and location that suits your schedule. Click here for more information. 


Chords 4 Kids Benefit Concert

chords 4 kids

Log a Load for Kids along with Mountaintime Music LLC and VFA member Rich Palermo are sponsoring the first annual Chords 4 Kids, a one-day music festival benefiting the University of Virginia Children's Hospital. The festival will host over ten bands and performers local to the area and will take place at Mountaintime Farm, just 5 miles south of Charlottesville. Please click here for more information on the festival and how to attend.

 

VFA news 

Programs

  • On July 18, VFA Programs Coordinator Sarah Kammer sarah at dof day(pictured to the right) and summer intern Caitlyn represented VFA and the Virginia Tree Farm Foundation  at the Virginia Department of Forestry’s All-Agency Meeting. The event was held at the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia and included a number of seminars on topics such as developing a drone program at the DOF, ticks and tick-borne diseases in Virginia, conservation police officer and K9s, and Virginia BIG trees.
  • Sarah and Caitlyn attended and exhibited at the 2018 Project Learning Tree Workshop & Forestry Tour on July 20. The 2-day workshop consisted of PLT classroom training, and a full day of on-the-ground forestry tours. Attendees learned about forest succession, hardwood management, and streamside management zones, visited an active logging site, watched a papermaking demonstration, and saw a portable sawmill in action! The workshop was sponsored by Society of American Foresters – Skyline Chapter, Dowdy’s Forest & Land Management, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Project Learning Tree, Old Bear Enterprises, WestRock, and Greif Packaging, with financial support provided by a grant from the Virginia Forestry Educational Foundation. VFA is a state co-sponsor of Project Learning Tree. Pictured below is VFA Board member Matt Dowdy taking visitors on a tour of his property.

Dowdy's Forest and Land Management

  • The Virginia Tree Farm Foundation kicked off the 2018 Tree Farmer Dinners earlier this week at Chrissy’s Tree Farm in Brunswick County. The dinner started with a presentation on GenerationNEXT by Mike Santucci, followed by a Virginia Tree Farm Foundation presentation by Sarah Kammer and Jen Gagnon. After dinner, Tree Farmer and President of the Virginia Tree Farm Foundation, John Matel, led a field tour around Chrissy’s Tree Farm (pictured below), showing attendees his Longleaf Pine management, a prescribed burning, and a Loblolly Pine thinning. 

Matel Tree Farm

Events

  • VFA Events & Communications Coordinator Elizabeth Buhl and summer intern Caitlyn met with Williamsburg hotel and visitor bureau representatives at an event in Richmond last week hosted at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The event gave Caitlyn the opportunity to see the sales side of the meetings industry and for both to learn more about the various properties available for future VFA meetings.
  • The 2019 Virginia Forestry Summit Planning Committee will be having its kick-off meeting next week at VFA's office! We are excited to update you on more Summit details as they come. Make sure your calendars are marked for April 30-May 3, 2019, as we host our 2019 Virginia Forestry Summit at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside!

Government Relations

  • VFA Executive Director Paul Russell Howe attended theFIAC meeting National Council of Forestry Association Executives Annual Meeting last week in Portland, Maine. While at the conference, he also attended a meeting of the Forest Industry Associations Council (pictured to the right). Biomass, truck weights, the Farm Bill, and industry public relations programs were just a few of the topics discussed during the meeting. 
  • Paul, along with VFA intern Caitlyn, represented the Virginia Forestry Association today at the first of three stakeholder meetings addressing if and how Virginia might implement a pilot program for increasing truck weight standards to 91,000 pounds from the current 80,000 pounds. VDOT is currently reviewing previous pilot programs and studies both internationally and in other states in conjunction with their own research about the potential impact on public safety and accelerated wear on roads. The open forum allowed a number of companies to raise a wide variety of opinions and assert points of importance in establishing a potentially successful pilot program in Virginia. The next meeting will be held on September 13, 2018, and will report specific information in regard to axle spacing and other key components to the program.

Membership

  • Once again, it's time for the annual VFA Membership Directory! Please use this link to access the online form to submit your ad, or download this printable form.
    2018-2019 DirectoryAct fast, those premium positions go quick and advertising space is limited. Even if you are not advertising in the directory, now is a good time to access your online profile and make sure your contact information is correct - folks use this directory to reach out to you! Please let us know at the VFA office if you have any trouble accessing your profile. Thank you for your continued support of VFA and the 2018-2019 VFA Membership Directory!

state news

Update on Investment of Former Bear Island Paper Mill

Governor Ralph Northam recently announced that the Canadian company Cascades Inc. plan to invest $275 million to establish a lightweight recycled containerboard mill in the former Bear Island Paper Mill in Hanover County. "Cascades' financial commitment of $275 million in the former Bear Island facility represents a substantial capital investment in Hanover County, and will create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs for our community," says Delegate Buddy Fowler.  Senator Ryan T. McDougle also praised the investment by saying, "Cascade's decision to establish a recycled lightweight linerboard manufacturing facility in Hanover County is further evidence of our business-friendly environment and fantastic workforce." Please read the official press release from the Governor's office for more information. 

EPA Assessment of Virginia's Efforts on Chesapeake Bay Restoration Shows Progress

Governor Ralph Northam recently released the following statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 evaluation of Virginia’s milestone achievements in restoring the Chesapeake Bay:

“The Chesapeake Bay is a critically important resource to the Commonwealth, which is why Virginia has gladly stepped up to the challenge of working on its restoration,” said Governor Northam. “A ‘Green Light’ designation from the Environmental Protection Agency signals that Virginia’s programs for reducing nutrient inputs to the Chesapeake Bay from farmland, municipalities and developed lands, and waste treatment plants are working effectively. Virginians are bearing witness to a healthier bay with clearer waters, record underwater grasses, and a rebounding shellfish industry. That’s great news for Virginia’s economy and quality of life, and clear evidence that investing in clean water is good for the Commonwealth. 

Now, we must turn our attention to finishing the job. My administration is grateful to be working with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts and local Planning District Commissions to design our next phase restoration plan from the ground up. I am committed to hearing from stakeholders on the new approaches and investments needed to achieve a restored Bay.”

VFA is actively participating in various series of stakeholder meetings with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Planning District Commissions, and others to represent the forestry community. VFA Executive Director Paul Russell Howe states that "the forest products industry and woodland owners can be proud of our part in working for a cleaner Bay and overall water quality."

For more information on this issue, please read the official press release

Speyside Bourbon Cooperage to Establish Operations in Smyth and Washington Counties

Governor Ralph Northam recently announced that Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, Inc. will invest $26 million to establish a bourbon barrel cooperage in Smyth County and $9 million in a new stave mill facility in Washington County. These two investments will create a total of 160 new jobs between both counties and will establish Virginia's first cooperage facility.  "Through its commitment to making significant investments in Virginia, Speyside Bourbon Cooperage is further supporting Virginia's forest industry, loggers, and landowners, a critical part of Virginia's economy," says Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. "This project fills a critical gap in the spirit industry supply chain and through Speyside's handcrafted barrels, Virginia-grown forestry products will be a part of making craft beverages all around the world." For more information, please read the official press release from the Governor's office on this investment. 

The Continued Growth of Virginia's Forests and Forest Economy

The Virginia Department of Forestry recently released a news article on Virginia's continued growth of its forests and forest economy. The article has been featured in many newspapers and publications throughout the nation and state. Please click here to read the press release. 


national news

Farm Bill Update

The House voted last week to assign members to the conference committee who will be in charge of negotiating differences between the House and the Senate versions of the passed Farm Bills. This will be a difficult task for the committee as the two bills take very different approaches to a variety of issues. The House bill supplies the Forest Service with many different tools needed to execute forest management work on federal forest lands, while the Senate bill does not include any meaningful provisions to promote federal forest management. Both bills include provisions of the Timber Innovation Act, which promotes wood for constructing taller buildings. Both bills also include provisions promoting forest-based biomass energy production and USDA's bio-based markets program. 

Proposed Amendments to Endangered Species Act

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on Tuesday, July 17, to discuss draft Endangered Species Act legislation. The proposed amendments to the Act would do things such as increase state and local input and help to improve transparency when listing a species, prioritize available resources for species recovery, promote the recovery of species, and help local economies. Please click here for more information on the proposed revisions.

Update on Beyer Amendment 

Virginia Representative Don Beyer recently filed an amendment that would have eliminated the biomass carbon neutrality rider from the FY19 House Interior Appropriations bill. VFA opposed this attempt to undermine federal policy that declares the use of woody biomass as carbon neutral and worked to communicate this position to the House Rules Committee. The amendment was ruled out of order by the Committee after work being done by VFA and our partners at National Alliance of Forest Owners and American Forest and Paper Association.

House Passes Interior Appropriations in "Minibus"

The House passed the Forest Services budget bill last week as a part of a "minibus" spending package that allocates $35.3 billion in spending for EPA and the Department of Interior. About $6.2 billion of that is for the Forest Service, with $380 million for the timber sale program, a 4% increase from last year. If enacted, the House level would represent a 20% increase in the timber program since Fiscal Year 2013. The House Report urges the Forest Service to offer a 4 Billion Board Foot sale program, a level that has not been reached in over 25 years. The White House is currently opposing funding provided for land acquisitions and is concerned in the increased need for funding of non-fire programs. 


 member spotlight

vdof easement and forest steward

VFA member Charles Hague was recently presented with a Virginia Century Forest Recognition for his Scarborough-Hague Family Property (pictured below). The consecutive family ownership of the property dates back 142 years with 98 years of documented forest management. "The continued hard work and dedication to conservation and forest stewardship has been diligent work for Charles Hague," says Adam Smith, Senior Area Forester for the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). "His pride for the land and strong interest to do what is best for the land has surely been demonstrated." The recognition of hard work and a job well done by following the guidance of the Forestry Forest Stewardship Plan by VDOF has given the family property the recognition of Forest Stewardship Certification. Please join us in congratulating Charles Hague and his family for earning this remarkable recognition!

 

century forest award winner

Dowdy's Forest and Land Management

Photo courtesy of Sarah Kammer taken at Matt Dowdy's property during the PLT Workshop and Forestry Tour. 
 

For more information on forestry news or other legislative items, and if you have any questions about VFA's representation of forestry interests at the General Assembly, please contact Executive Director Paul Russell Howe.

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 Virginia Forestry Association

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3808 Augusta Ave.

Richmond, VA 23230

(804) 278-8733

[email protected]

www.vaforestry.org