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Saturday, June 13, 2020
ICYMI: Virginia Forestry Summit 2020 to Go Virtual

On June 10th, VFA announced that it would co-host the first-ever virtual Virginia Forestry Summit during this summer. The virtual Summit will be a 2-day event taking place on August 12 and 13, 2020, from 8:00am-1:00pm each day. Thanks to the generous support of our Sponsors and Exhibitors, participation in this event will be free for all members of VFA, SAF-Virginia and/or ACF-Virginia. New registration information and an updated event schedule for the virtual Summit will be shared by the end of June.

To view the full original announcement, click here. Bookmark the Summit website for continuing updates at:
Temporary Forest Products Transportation Exemptions to Expire on June 14th

On March 19, 2020, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) issued notice of temporary overweight, overwidth, registration, license, and hours of service exemptions for carriers transporting emergency relief supplies through Virginia for the purposes of combat the novel coronavirus. The original waiver, and a subsequent extension on May 13th, designated the transportation of forest products for these purposes as eligible commodities under this waiver.

Earlier this week, VDOT generally excluded forest products and most other commodities from a narrow waiver extension through mid-July. For the VDOT extension letter, including what products will continue to qualify for exemptions, click here.
DOLI Issues Proposed Emergency COVID Employer Regulations, VFA to Comment

VFA is currently reviewing and will submit formal comments on emergency workplace regulations proposed yesterday by the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry (DOLI). On May 26th, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 63, directing DOLI to "promulgate emergency regulations and standards to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace."

The issuance of these regulations represents a significant shift away from voluntary employer compliance since onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. In a May 31st article in the Virginia Mercury, the Governor's Chief Workforce Adviser Megan Healy was quoted, following a petition by labor advocates for enhanced regulations at poultry plants, as saying: "The governor said, if you’re writing these standards, let’s do it for all workers and not just poultry workers.”

Members are encouraged to review the proposed regulations (link). Please share any thoughts or concerns with VFA Executive Director Corey Connors via email, or by phone at (804) 278-8733, ext. 101, so that they may be incorporated into VFA's comments. The deadline for written comments is June 22, 2020 in advance of an emergency meeting of the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board on June 24th, when the proposed regulation and public comments will be formally considered.
Rob Farrell Op-Ed: "For a Healthier Chesapeake Bay, Trees are the Answer"

"This week is Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, the perfect time to focus on the many ecological contributions of Virginia’s forests. Forestland has long been recognized as one of the best land covers for protecting water quality and an important strategy for helping the commonwealth meet the targets of its Chesapeake Bay Watershed Improvement Plan."

For the full June 4, 2020 op-ed that appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, click here


Governor Northam Unveils Updates to "ConserveVirginia"

Governor Northam announced updates to the Commonwealth’s data-driven land conservation strategy and multilayer mapping tool for identifying high value lands and conservation sites. Per reporting, ConserveVirginia 2.0 includes three significant changes that reinforce the Governor’s priorities on water quality, historic justice, and equity. 

For the full June 11, 2020 article from WVVA-TV, click here


VA Tech Faculty Use Innovation/Engagement to Adapt to Online Education

“I’ve worked to engage with students, but I’ve also tried not to stress them out,” explained Assistant Professor J.P. Gannon, who teaches environmental informatics in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. “My approach has been to work on the challenges in a direct way, trying to get my students to talk with me.”

For the full June 11, 2020 article from the Roanoke Star, click here


VIDEO: Lynchburg Working to Save Ash Trees in the City

Lynchburg is saving ash trees throughout the city. With help from the Virginia Department of Forestry, city leaders are treating ash trees in parks, cemeteries and other areas.

For the full WSLS TV report, click here.
National Forests Reopening Many Campgrounds and Day Use Areas 
WHSV 3 News - June 11, 2020

After months of working with modified openings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are reopening more than...MORE
Southern Timber Price Update: Pine & Hardwood Products Diverge in 1Q2020
Forest2Market - June 10, 2020

After experiencing a wild ride during 1Q2019, southern timber prices diverged by product type a year later in 1Q2020. It’s important to note that the price trends...MORE
Cash Crops from the Woods; Forest Farming Economy to Shoot Up
Virginia Public Radio - June 3, 2020

Harvesting wild food from the forest goes back to the beginning of civilization. But recently, interest in edible and medicinal wild plants has been growing. There’s a...MORE
Bedrock Type Under Forests Greatly Affects Tree Growth, Species, Carbon Storage - June 10, 2020

A forest's ability to store carbon depends significantly on the bedrock beneath, according to Penn State researchers who studied forest productivity, composition and...MORE
Beavers are Diverse Forest Landscapers - June 10, 2020

Beavers are ecosystem engineers that cut down trees to build dams, eventually causing floods. Beaver-induced floods make forest landscapes and habitats increasingly...MORE
June 19 and 26, 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.

June 20, 2020 - Blue Ridge PRISM Invasive Plant Workshop
This free, virtual, 4-hour workshop will enable you to learn how to confidently identify and manage invasive plants.
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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