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Saturday, September 5, 2020
VFA 2020 Award Recpients Announced at VA Forestry Summit 

Despite shifting the Virginia Forestry Summit to a virtual format, the Virginia Forestry Association continued a long tradition of recognizing oustanding contributions to the Commonwealth's forestry community by individuals and groups with its 2020 Awards program. VFA's Awards Committee, chaired by Greg Scheerer of WestRock, announced the selections at the closing celebration of the virtual Summit.

This year's deserving recipients include:

Stephanie O. Grubb of Smithfield, VA

Given continuously since 1949, this award recognizes outstanding contributions by individuals in the areas of conservation, utilization, and enhancement of Virginia’s forest resources.


Virginia Cooperative Extension Forestry Team

Recognizes significant, continuing and lasting contributions to the conservation of Virginia’s forest resource and the enhancement of Virginia’s forest-based community.


Morven Logging and BL Nichols Logging, Inc. 
VFA recognized both Morven Logging and BL Nichols Logging, Inc. as recipients of 2020 Logger Merit Awards. Since 1949, this award has recognized and honored outstanding logger performance in the Commonwealth.  The recipient represents the “best-of-the-best,” exemplifying the highest professional standards as they serve as effective and positive public role models for the entire logging industry. 



John R. Gee of Charlotte County

Recognizes individuals who have spent many hours working behind the scenes and beyond the call of duty to make the Virginia Forestry Association a quality organization.


John C. Magruder of Tappahannock, VA

Created by VFA’s Awards Committee this year to acknowledge John Magruder for going above and beyond in his leadership responsibilities for the greater good of the association and its members.

Tapscott Brothers Logging Named FRA 2020 National Outstanding Logger

On August 22, Forest Resources Association (FRA) and STIHL Incorporated honored Tapscott Brothers Logging of Scottsville, Virginia, as FRA’s 2020 National Outstanding Logger. Earlier this year, the Tapscotts won FRA’s Southeastern Region Outstanding Logger Award and then were selected by a national panel of judges as the U.S. winner from among FRA’s six regional winners.

The FRA 2020 National Outstanding Logger Award prizes—a large, black walnut wooden award plaque from FRA and a $1,000 check provided by STIHL—were presented to Binky and Guke by FRA Appalachian Region Manager Rick Meyer at the luncheon of the Virginia Loggers Association Board meeting in Columbia, VA on August 22.  VLA and VFA jointly submitted the Tapscotts’ nomination for the FRA award program, with the application coordinated by Jay Phaup of Greif Packaging. 
Photo:  Charles (“Binky”) Tapscott (center, with “U.S. map” walnut wood plaque) and Troy (“Guke”) Tapscott (center right, with SE Region cherry-wood crosscut saw plaque), owners of Tapscott Brothers Logging, Inc. and Forest Pro, Inc., winners of FRA’s 2020 National Outstanding Logger Award. 

Pictured from left to right:  Rick Meyer (FRA Regional Manager), Ron Jenkins (VLA Executive Director), Binky Tapscott, Guke Tapscott, Corey Connors (VFA Executive Director).
VFA Advocacy: Bipartisan Efforts to Provide Business Immunity Fall Short

The General Assembly remains in special session to consider amendments to Virginia's biennial budget and for the consideration of other COVID-related legislation for individuals and businesses. 

Earlier this week, VFA and its partners in the Virginia Coalition for a Strong Economy were advocating for legislation that would shield employers from COVID-19 lawsuits while keeping workers safe from the virus. A bill in each chamber, modeled largely after a bipartisan effort that successfully passed in North Carolina, ended up striken for the session due to organized labor's insistence for a strict compliance standard with Virginia's first-in-the-nation COVID-19 employer regulations

MORE: Virginia Mercury Story (9/2/20) - "Lawmakers struggle to balance shielding businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits while keeping workers safe from the virus"

VFA continues to monitor special session and will keep members appraised of developments with direct impact on Virginia's forestry community.
VDOF Releases Suggested Forest Land Use Values for 2021

Each year, the State Land Evaluation Advisory Council (SLEAC) determines and publishes a range of suggested values for assessing land use taxes throughout the Commonwealth. The Code of Virginia requires each participating jurisdiction's Assessment Office to consider the SLEAC estimates when assessing the value of eligible land. However, the local assessing office is not required to use the SLEAC estimates verbatim. The Virginia Department of Forestry provides the estimated values to SLEAC for forest land.

On August 12, VDOF made its suggestions for 2021 land use values to SLEAC. Citing challenging market conditions and a reduction in inflation, overall, suggested land use values represent an average decline of approximately 4%.

For the DOF "Factors Affecting Value Determination" Narrative, click here
For DOF's full county-by-county suggestions on land use taxation, click here.


Funding or Habitat Projects to Help Endangered Bumble Bee, Other Species

"Six Virginia projects that aim to improve habitat for the first bumble bee species to be declared endangered in the United States are getting funding. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources says the projects span more than 180 acres and the funding is coming from its Restore the Wild Initiative."
For the full article from CBS19, click here.

Virginia City Seeks Conservation Solution for Flood-Prone Properties

"As climate change fuels flooding all over the country, one coping strategy is managed retreat: Local governments use federal funds to buy up waterlogged properties at fair market value, throwing distressed owners a financial lifeline and repurposing that land to help mitigate the impacts of recurrent flooding.

But what becomes of those properties once communities acquire them? Who oversees them? What’s the cost to local taxpayers to mow, maintain and manage them in perpetuity?"
For the full article from the Bay Journal, click here.


Arlington Regional Master Naturalists Say Deer are Destroying Forest Habitats

"The Arlington Regional Master Naturalists say white-tailed deer are destroying the county’s forests. Neither Arlington County nor the City of Alexandria have deer management programs, and volunteers are asking Arlington to develop one. Montgomery County, Prince William County, Fairfax County, and the National Park Service have successful programs that have been operating for years."
For the full article from Local DVM, click here.

Oil and Gas Rule Changes Aim for More Productive Forests
USDA - September 2, 2020

At the direction of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, the Forest Service has proposed changes that would address that backlog and improve productivity on...MORE

'Forestry Feeds My Soul'
The News-Review - August 19, 2020

When Ethan Harris applied for a Douglas Timber Operators scholarship in 2016, he wrote that he previously felt he “had no purpose in life.” He thought others might...MORE

Camps in the Swamp
Suffolk News-Herald - August 26, 2020

During the last half of the 19th century, the family headed by George Camp II of Southampton County...was at the forefront of logging and lumbering...MORE

Leave Your Tracks on the Blue Ridge Trail
Bay Journal - September 2, 2020

As American chestnut trees were dying, the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway sprang to life. It was 1914, and blight was decimating chestnut trees in hardwood forests from...MORE

Our Best Climate Solution is Circular
GreenBiz - August 24, 2020

Decarbonization must play a central role in the COVID-19 economic recovery. While global greenhouse gas emissions are expected to fall slightly this year due to...MORE

Great American Outdoors Act is Monumental for the South
Southern Environmental Law Center - August 24, 2020

The Great American Outdoors Act is a historic achievement. Wear and tear has long been an issue for our public lands—most acutely in our national parks, where...MORE

September 11 and 18, 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.

September 29, 2020 - Seasonal Invasive Plant Workshops

Spend the afternoon with Blue Ridge PRISM learning about non-native invasive plants and how to confidently identify and manage them.
October 2, 2020 - Logging Safety Seminar

Don't miss this great safety training scheduled for October 2, 2020 at the Virginia Antique Truck & Tractor Museum.  Attendance is limited and you must register. Click here for more details.  Eligible for SHARP Logger and SAF continuing education.
Copyright © 2020 Virginia Forestry Association, All rights reserved.
The VFA Voice

Our Contact Info:
3808 Augusta Ave
Richmond, VA 23230
(804) 278-8733

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