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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Don't Forget VFEF on GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. The day is meant to unleash the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world. GivingTuesday is held annually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, taking place this year on December 1, 2020.

As those who are able consider year end charitable contributions, VFA encourages our forestry community to remember the Virginia Forestry Educational Foundation in their planning. The mission of the Virginia Forestry Educational Foundation is to financially support state wide youth education promoting sustainable forests for the environmental, social, and economic benefit of all Virginians (MORE: VFEF Website).

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Study: Climate Agreement Could Increase Costs for Households, Create Job Losses

"Restrictions in a multistate climate agreement could cost the average Virginia household $737 in 2022 and cause the state to lose more than 12,000 jobs should Virginia join the compact, according to a new study by the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy.

When the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is fully implemented, it would establish a cap on diesel and gasoline sales and require fuel wholesalers to purchase carbon allowances to surpass the cap, effectively imposing a carbon tax. The study estimated doing would lead to a de facto tax increase of 17 cents a gallon initially, climbing to 33 cents a gallon when the plan is fully implemented for gas and up to 28 cents a gallon for diesel fuel."


For the full story from the Center Square (11/17/20), click here.
 

Commercial Driver’s License Renewals Can Now Be Done Online in Virginia

"The Department of Motor Vehicles is offering more renewal options online so drivers can avoid booking in-person appointments. And this time, they’re helping out commercial drivers. Drivers can now renew their credentials online at dmvNOW.com, according to the DMV.

'The opportunity to renew online gives our commercial driving community a convenient service option and focus office appointment opportunities on transactions for customers who need in-person assistance,' DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said in a news release."


For the full story from Virginian-Pilot (11/23/20), click here.
 

SFPA Announces Free Southern Pine Summit

"The Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) has announced the SFPA Summit, a free virtual event to take place on December 8. The Summit marks a new expansion to SFPA’s annual fall meetings, which have traditionally been only available to SFPA members. Registration for the summit is free and open to the public, presenting an opportunity for everybody involved in forest products to gain insights and advice from experts in the field.

The Summit boasts a robust schedule of presentations with industry-leading speakers, all focused on a centralized theme: Vital Viewpoints for an Essential Industry. Speakers will address the current climate of the Southern Pine lumber industry, what to expect down the road, and provide regulatory updates, sales tips, and insights valuable to everybody in the wood products industry. The Summit also presents attendees with an opportunity to meet and connect with one another at a Networking Virtual Lunch."


For the full story from Building Products Digest (11/25/20), click here.
 

In a Shrinking Part of Southside Virginia, VDOT Still Planning a Highway Expansion

"Highway expansion is often pitched as necessary to combat congestion for a growing population. For opponents, that makes the Virginia Department of Transportation’s planned Martinsville Southern Connector — a $745 million, 7.4-mile highway expansion in a shrinking corner of the state — all the more perplexing.

'This project goes against everything this administration, the Commonwealth Transportation Board and VDOT say they’re doing,' said Trip Pollard, a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. 'This is very much an old school VDOT approach: barrel ahead with a project that’s not needed, extremely destructive and very costly and then justify it later. It’s all the worst parts of transportation planning wrapped up into one project.'"


For the full story from the Virginia Mercury (11/24/20), click here.
 

VT-CNRE Dean Shares Vision of a Dynamic Future with the Board of Visitors

"Winistorfer has been dean of the college since August 2009. During his tenure, he has led efforts to rename the college and three of its academic departments, create new degree programs, double undergraduate enrollment, build a research aviary, and invest in significant infrastructure improvements. His tenure has also been marked by steady increases in the numbers of faculty and graduate students as the college has stepped forward to address new and ongoing challenges in natural resources conservation and environmental sustainability."

For the full story from Virginia Tech Daily (11/19/20), click here.
 

$1.5 Trillion Stimulus Needed, Moody's Analyst Tells VA Senate Officials

"A new federal stimulus package of $1.5 trillion is necessary to keep Americans, businesses and state and local governments afloat until vaccines are widely distributed and used to bring COVID-19 under control, a research analyst for Moody’s Analytics told Virginia Senate budget officials on Thursday.

Dan White, public sector research director at the company, said a big stimulus package is essential because of the potential 'fiscal shock' to state and local governments from deepening revenue losses and higher safety net costs as they wait for approval, distribution and public acceptance of emergency vaccines to end the pandemic."

 
For the full article from the Roanoke Times (11/20/20), click here.

 

Delegate Calling for Action to Cancel Mountain Valley Pipeline

"Delegate Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, released a statement regarding Wednesday's decision on the Mountain Valley Pipeline from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Rasoul is calling for 'decisive action' to cancel the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

'Yesterday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to issue a stay pending appeal while it considered a challenge brought by environmental groups to the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The case involves a permit, known as a Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement, issued by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The court has yet to consider the full merits of the case, and when it does so, I am confident the court will do what it has done in many other cases and throw out these permits, which were hastily issued in the waning days of the current federal administration.'"
 
For the full article from CBS 19 (11/19/20), click here.

 

Panel Votes Against Plans for Virginia Solar Power Plant

"A Virginia planning commission has recommended denying a permit to developers who want to build a 1,000-acre solar power plant project. The Culpeper Star-Exponent reported Tuesday that the Culpeper County Planning Commission made the unanimous recommendation last week. The matter will now go before the Board of Supervisors.

The $200 million project would encompass 1,792 acres of agriculturally zoned land formerly for timber production, the newspaper reported. The developers intend to place solar panels on 1,000 acres of the land, which is owned primarily by an out-of-state timber company."

 
For the full article from CBS 19 (11/17/20), click here.
 

First Lady of Virginia Visits Wildrock to Encourage Kids to Explore Nature

"Promoting a love of nature is just one goal of Wildrock, and now the nonprofit is sharing new outdoor initiatives with the first lady of Virginia.

'Children have so many enriching opportunities here because of the many experts that work here and volunteers that make it such a fun place to be,' Pamela Northam said during a visit to Albemarle County Friday, November 13.

Northam says getting kids out and learning about nature is critical."

 
For the full article from NBC 12 (11/13/20), click here.

 

Virginia State Parks #OPTOUTSIDE 2020 Photo Contest from Nov. 26-29th

"All photos must be taken at a Virginia State Park between Nov. 26, 2020 and Nov. 29. 2020. Photos must be uploaded to the official contest site https://vasp.fun/2020OptOutside between 7 a.m. on Nov. 26, 2020 and 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2020. An individual may enter up to 5 photos during the contest period. We reserve the right to disqualify any photograph that depicts inappropriate or illegal behavior (including breaking any rule or regulation) or that staff determine not to be taken on the specified dates or at a Virginia State Park. Photographs cannot include watermarks.

Anyone is welcome to enter the contest. However, any prize involving an overnight stay must be awarded to an individual that is at least 18 years old (so an adult will have to claim a prize won by a minor). Prizes are subject to tax."

 
For the full article from Fredericksburg Today (11/17/20), click here.

 

National Forest Timber for Sale - George Washington & Jefferson National Forest

"The Rob Vision Reoffer 2 Sale is located within the Jefferson National Forest, Clinch Ranger District, approximately 4 miles south of Tacoma in Wise County, Virginia. The Forest Service will receive sealed bids in public at The Clinch District Office at 10:00 AM local time on 12/21/2020 for an estimated volume of 179 CCF of Combined Hardwoods sawtimber, 742 CCF of Oak sawtimber, 446 CCF of Combined Hardwoods pulpwood, and 147 CCF of Oak pulpwood marked or otherwise designated for cutting."

 
For the full article from the Coalfield Progress (11/19/20), click here.
Outdoor Classrooms Reenergize Kids during the Pandemic
CNN.com - November 18, 2020

When the pandemic forced his school to go to online learning, fifth-grader Bergen Manzella spent six hours a day staring at his computer screen. "My eyes were drooping...MORE
FRA Issue Update: H-2B Visa Cap Hit, Safe Routes Act
Forest Resources Association - November 20, 2020

This week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that they received enough petitions for H-2B workers to reach the congressionally mandated cap...MORE

Plant Forward
Virginia Living Magazine - November 20, 2020

Economic and environmental sustainability combine as well in Virginia Tech professor and forest management extension specialist John Munsell’s work to help Virginia...MORE

After the Fires, Timber Industry Faces ‘Generational’ Losses, Supply Questions
The Oregonian - November 23, 2020

Rick McKay’s logging crew was off for Labor Day weekend when the Lionshead fire blew through its job site just above Breitenbush Hot Springs. When crew members cut...MORE

Cut Down Your Christmas Tree from a National Forest
WRBL.com - November 25, 2020
One fun way to find a Christmas tree is to cut your own in a national forest. People can purchase Christmas tree permits through recreation.gov/tree-permits...MORE

OP-ED: Conspiracies in the Woods, and What Grandpa Knew, About Forests
The Fresno Bee - November 22, 2020

“I have opinions. I may not know anything, but I have opinions,” declared my now-deceased grandpa, Homer Jamison, at a family dinner some 45 years ago...MORE

Fuller Writes Children Book on Forestry
Valley Times-News - November 21, 2020

Stephanie has published a children's book about a young girl learning about the Alabama forestry industry. It's entitled "Lucy Meets a Logger."...MORE
Forests Support Jobs and Encourage Biodiversity. But They’re Under Threat
CNBC - November 20, 2020

Forests are beautiful, home to a diverse range of wildlife, and play an important role when it comes to looking after the world we live in. Much like their appearance...MORE

Remote Sensing Gives New Look at Forest Diversity
Purdue University - November 24, 2020

Generating comprehensive and accurate tree inventories is key to understanding forest population dynamics and using that information to manage the land. But...MORE

Biden Presidency Would Include Higher Taxes for Some Virginians, but Freer Trade
Inside NOVA - November 19, 2020

Higher taxes, heavier regulations and freer trade will be some of the policy positions taken by presumptive President-elect Joe Biden that will affect Virginians. According...MORE

December 3, 2020 - You Have the Portable Sawmill. Now What?

Join Wise County's Virginia Cooperative Extension office and Dr. Brian Bond, Professor of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech, in a discussion on the steps for turning a portable sawmill hobby into a sustainable business.

To register for this free virtual event, contact Phil Meeks by email at pmeeks@vt.edu or by phone at (276) 328-6194.

December 4, 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.

December 8, 2020 - SFPA Summit

Register for this free virtual educational and networking event, featuring presentations on the current climate of the Southern Pine lumber industry, what to expect down the road, and provide regulatory updates, sales tips, and insights valuable to everybody in the forest products industry.
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