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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Limited VFA Membership Directory Advertising Opportunities Remain

Often cited as a top membership benefit, VFA's membership directory serves as a valuable resource for Virginia’s entire forestry community and is a popular and useful tool for our advertisers, partners, and members.  The submission deadline has been extended to November 10, so act fast as advertising space is limited. Click the icon below to view our rate sheet and submission form. You may also submit your ad online and pay via credit card by clicking here

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 - our members use this directory to reach out to you! Please let us know at the VFA office if you have any trouble accessing your profile or if you need any help updating your information. Thank you for your continued support of VFA and the 2021 VFA Membership Directory. For any questions, please contact Elizabeth Buhl at ebuhl@vaforestry.org, or by phone at (804) 278-8733, ext. 102.

Happy (Belated) National Forest Products Week!

With no VFA Voice last week (though we celebrated the occasion on Facebook), we are somewhat belated in wishing VFA member businesses a Happy National Forest Products Week! This year's National Forest Products Week was recognized October 18-24, 2020.

On September 13, 1960, the United Congress issued a joint proclamation designating the week beginning on the third Sunday in October as National Forest Products Week. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the proclamation on September 15, 1960. Since then, each sitting president has proclaimed the week.

READ: President Trump's National Forest Products Week Proclamation for 2020

Portable Bridges Now Available for Loggers in Lower Cowpasture River Watershed

"Loggers in the Lower Cowpasture River Watershed now have two sets of portable bridges available for their use thanks to the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and funding provided by a U. S. Forest Service Joint Chiefs Grant.

This federal grant funds the Lower Cowpasture Restoration and Management Project and covers 117,500 acres of public and private lands in Alleghany, Bath, and Rockbridge Counties. The Project area is located in the heart of the Ridge and Valley province of the Central Appalachians and the Upper James River drainage basin of the Chesapeake Bay."

For the full article from VDOF, click here

 

Pandemic Has Slowed Land Conservation

"'One word describes what’s happened with land conservation this past year in Greene and Madison—pandemic,' Carl Schmitt, president of the Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy, said at the group’s annual meeting on Sunday, Oct. 18.

The coronavirus pandemic, he said, has made people uncertain about the future and not yet willing to make long-term commitments for their land.

'It’s not a simple thing, you’ve got to work at it and you’ve got to want (conservation) to get it,” Schmitt said. “Everybody’s life was turned upside down on many levels.'"
 
For the full article from the Greene County Record, click here.

 

2020 Was Supposed to be a Historic Year for Environmental Funding in Virginia

"2020 was supposed to be the year to make the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality great again. 

After years of budget cuts to the agency charged with maintaining the health of the commonwealth’s air, water and lands, a surplus of funds in state coffers promised to put millions of dollars back into DEQ and add some 85 new workers to its ranks."

"Then came COVID-19."
 
For the full article from the Virginia Mercury, click here.

 

Truckers' Dilemma, to Drive Tired or Park Illegally, Getting Attention

"Freight trucks on Interstate 81 rumble through the Roanoke region by the tens of thousands every week, concentrated during daylight hours. At night, truckers bed down for legally mandated breaks and the rumble is replaced by a snore.

Before hitting the pillows in their sleeping compartments, however, drivers must park their nearly 60-foot rigs. Area truck stops and rest areas fill up first, at which point drivers have limited, ad-hoc options: the shoulders of the interstate or its ramps, frontage roads, retail parking or vacant lots."
 
For the full article from the Martinsville Bulletin, click here.

 

New Multi-purpose Rail Trail Could be Possible Thanks to a New Study 

"A new rail trail could be a possibility thanks to the Virginia General Assembly. 

A budget amendment has been passed to authorize the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to assess how feasible the Shenandoah Valley Rail Trail project, which will utilize a discontinued Norfolk Southern rail line into a multi-purpose trail."

 
For the full article from the News Leader, click here.

 

Public Input Sought on Future of Virginia’s Natural Bridge State Park

"One of the Chesapeake Bay watershed’s most stunning natural spectacles is at a crossroads, and officials are asking the public to help steer it in a new direction.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is seeking comments on a 10-year master plan for Natural Bridge State Park. The park’s focal point is a 215-foot-tall, 90-foot-long limestone arch that is traversed by a major north-south highway, U.S. Route 11."

 
For the full article from the Bay Journal, click here.

 

Virginia Tech Forestry Expert Explains When and Where to See the Best Fall Foliage

"The trees across southwest Virginia are showing off their fall colors. Across WDBJ7′s hometowns, AIR7 captures the magnificent colors of autumn, from Roanoke County to Giles County, with plenty of landscape in between.

'When you go up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’re up, you’re down, you’re all around and that changes the tree species,' said John Seiler, professor of forest biology at Virginia Tech."

 
For the full article and video from WDBJ7, click here.

 

Virginia DEQ Completes Environmental Justice Study

"The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and its consultants, Skeo Solutions, Inc. and Metropolitan Group, have concluded an 18-month process to create a comprehensive Environmental Justice Study. First announced in April 2019, the study was initiated by DEQ to identify options and recommendations to inform a strategic approach focused on addressing environmental justice issues."

'No community, especially those historically marginalized and underrepresented, should face greater risk and impacts of pollution,' said Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler. 'The Northam Administration is taking the critical first steps in addressing environmental justice and existing inequities as we combat a changing climate and other threats to our environment. This study report provides a much needed framework for action, with recommendations for the Commonwealth that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is committed to following.'

 
For the full article from the Augusta Free Press, click here.
FRA Issue Update - 2020 Election, FMSCA Pilot, Gray Wolf
Forest Resources Association - October 30, 2020

November 3, as we all know, is Election Day in the United States. The 2020 election is on pace for a historical voter turn-out. To assist our members in navigating...MORE
Plywood Substitute's Price Soars
Bloomberg News - October 23, 2020

Americans are coughing up $4,600 more on average to buy their dream home than six months ago — thanks to a record run-up in prices for a once-cheap plywood...MORE

American Forests CEO Jad Daley: ‘We are one nation under trees’
Mongabay - October 28, 2020

In the decade following the end of the U.S. Civil War, a group of people led by physician and horticulturist John Aston Warder established the American Forestry...MORE

Texas A&M Forest Service Launches TreeMD App
Texas A&M AgriLife - October 27, 2020

Texas A&M Forest Service has launched an app to help users quickly identify the “root cause” of tree problems, whether they be from insects, diseases or other factors...MORE

What if There Were 1 Trillion More Trees?
TED Talks - October 2020

Like all plants, trees consume atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis. So what can trees do to help in this fight? Jean-François Bastin digs into the efforts...MORE

My Retired Forest Service Mule Went Viral: Here’s Her Story
GearJunkie.com - October 27, 2020

Public service is venerated in many ways. But it’s not often that we’re able to recognize the efforts of our four-legged friends who have full-time professional gigs serving...MORE

November 6 and 13, 2020 - Fifteen Minutes in the Forest

Spend 15 minutes in the forest with Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension Foresters each Friday at noon to learn about timely forestry topics.
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The VFA Voice

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vfa@vaforestry.org
(804) 278-8733

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