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Saturday, October 3, 2020
VFA Joins Coalition to Oppose Permanent Adoption of COVID Employer Regulations

Earlier this week, the Department of Labor and Industry's Safety and Health Codes Board met virtually to receive public testimony on Virginia's COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for employers. The ETS applies to all employers in Virginia that are subject to the state's occupational safety and health standards, and carries fines of up to $130,000 for non-compliance.

VFA joined formal comments (LINK: Coalition Comments) in conjunction with more 30 organizations calling on the Board to avoid adopting the ETS as a permanent standard. The Coalition also recommended more than 35 changes to the standard in order to ensure consistency with federal guidelines while simplifying compliance measures for employers. 

For more on the hearing proceedings, view the Richmond Times Dispatch story here.

VFA Membership Directory Advertising Opportunities Now Available

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 is November 1, so act fast as our premium positions have been going quickly and advertising space is limited. Click the icon above 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, or by phone at (804) 278-8733, ext. 102.

Jenkins: Thank You, Virginia, From Your Logging Community

"Ron Jenkins is the Executive Director of the Virginia Loggers Association.

Relief from personal property and tools & machinery taxes are granted through a process involving approval of the General Assembly and then by the governor signing a bill into law. The process requires a lot of help from people and associations but once approved the law gives counties the option to exempt these taxes. As of July 1, 2020, an amendment to the law now allows counties to exempt these taxes on forest harvesting and silvicultural equipment. Five counties have already amended their ordinance to exempt these taxes on loggers."

For the full article from the Roanoke Times, click here


Virginia Regulators Accused of Slow-Walking New Turbidity Standard

As work on Mountain Valley Pipeline remains stalled, state officials are also moving at a sluggish pace to develop a standard that would help Virginia regulate muddied waters like those that have dogged the project.

'My recollection is that this was first requested by the board about 18 months ago,' State Water Control Board member Paula Jasinski said to Department of Environmental Quality officials at a meeting Sept. 24. 'Does it take that long?'
For the full article from the Virginia Mercury, click here.


Despite Pandemic, Revenues for I-81 Improvement Fund Remain Strong

"In 2019, the General Assembly passed a bill establishing a fund where the money generated by a regional gas tax would be spent on $2 billion worth of improvements identified for I-81. Improvements and expansion of safety services on I-81 began July 1, 2019.

And though there was up to a 64% drop in traffic of all vehicle types using Virginia roadways at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the I-81 fund remained relatively safe and even finished fiscal year 2020 on June 30 having generated $69.8 million — nearly $15 million more than the year’s estimate, according to data from the Virginia Department of Transportation."
For the full article from the Winchester Star, click here.


Mussel Species in Virginia Could Be Added to Endangered Species Act

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking at possibly listing two species of freshwater mussels to the Endangered Species Act, including one that lives in Virginia. According to a release, the listing would cover the longsolid and round hickorynut mussels. Both of these species of mussels live in streams and rivers.

The longsolid hickorynut mussel is found in Alabama, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.  It has disappeared from Georgia, Indiana and Illinois."
For the full article from the CBS 19, click here.


Pallet Community Loses Two Industry Veterans

"A former president of the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA) and early pioneer in the development of the William H Sardo Jr Pallet & Container Research Laboratory at Virginia Tech, Jacob Phillips, died on August 14th after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Jacob (Jake) Phillips was the former owner and president of Hinchcliff Lumber Co., a pallet manufacturer located in West Virginia."

"John Bryant Britt, Jr., 49, of West Point, Virginia, a member of the pallet recycling community passed away on Sunday, August 23, 2020. Although cut short, Bryant lived his life to the fullest. He worked with his dad, John Britt, at Direct Wood Products."

For the full article from Pallet Enterprise, click here.


Del. Edmunds and Sen. Hanger: Celebrating National Hunting & Fishing Day

"America’s hunters and anglers are our nation’s original conservationists. Sept. 26 is our 48th Annual National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) to recognize and celebrate the historical and ongoing contributions of the Old Dominion’s sportsmen and women. As Co-Chairmen of the Virginia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and members of the 49-state National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, we are proud to celebrate these time-honored traditions and encourage all Virginians to use National Hunting and Fishing Day to take advantage of the inherently socially distant activities of hunting and fishing available to us."

For the full article from the Roanoke Times, click here.


Hunters Reach for Bow, Arrows During State's Urban Archery Season

"Charlie Hipple goes out to his father’s property in James City County this time of year to climb up into his tree stand in the woods with his compound bow in hand, waiting for hours to spot in-season deer from his perch.Hipple, 30, of James City County, has been hunting since he was 10 years old. He enjoys the peace and quiet of the outdoors, and he loves the sport of hunting, especially the challenges of bow hunting."

"Virginia has held urban archery season since 2002 to reduce deer-human conflicts in urban areas and to provide recreation for those who participate in the sport, according to the 2019-2020 Virginia Urban Archery Season Report by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources."

For the full article from the Virginia Gazette, click here.


2020 Fall Foliage: Hints of Color in Southwest VA, Alleghenies

"In southwest Virginia and the Alleghenies, trees at high elevations are starting to display blazing reds, vibrant oranges and sunny yellows this week. Viewing Mother Nature can be a safe way to get out of the house during the coronavirus pandemic, especially since many annual fall festivals have been canceled."

For the full article from, click here.


Virginia This Morning's Top 6 Picks: Keep Virginia Cozy Shares Best Trails to Hike

"This week, we asked Keep Virginia Cozy to take over our Top 6 Picks! Keep Virginia Cozy works to conserve our land through outreach, restoration and research. Its mission is to protect wilderness and inspire all Virginians to care for our wild places. One great way to get immersed in nature in by hiking! So we asked Brian Bell of Keep Virginia Cozy to share six of his favorite trails to explore in the Commonwealth."

For the full article from the CBS 6 News, click here.
Treeswift to Automate Forestry with Swarms of Drones
The Robot Report - September 26, 2020

Chen founded Treeswift as a spin-off company from Penn Engineering’s GRASP Lab. The idea behind it is simple: use robotic tools to automate forestry and reduce risk...MORE

A Yearly Health Checkup for U.S. Forests
USFS Southern Research Station - October 1, 2020

Every year, the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) program tracks changing forest conditions, including national assessments as well as focused...MORE

Is Trump Good for Business?
Virginia Business Magazine - September 28, 2020

President Donald Trump entered the White House in 2017 with no political experience but a lifetime spent in business. Nearly four years later...Virginia voters are asking...MORE

Superior Fall Colors
NASA Earth Observatory - September 22, 2020

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan are typically among the first parts of the contiguous United States to experience autumn color. Fall 2020 was no exception. Aided by...MORE

The Architect Who Wants to Build Cities With a Million Trees
Euronews - September 27, 2020

Italian architect Stefano Boeri has launched a global campaign to promote urban forestry. Boeri wants to see more forests and trees in cities, to reduce pollution and...MORE

As Concerns Over Climate Change Rise, More Developers Turn to Wood
Baltimore Sun - September 26, 2020

Although it was established in 1873 near some of North America’s most productive forests, Spokane has rarely focused on new timber products in construction. But that...MORE

Commentary: How National Forests Suffer From Anti- Forestry Obstruction
Capital Press - September 25, 2020

Most would agree forest management is essential to reducing heavy fuel loads that contribute to unnaturally severe wildfires. Yet anti-forestry obstruction and litigation...MORE

October 9 and 16, 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.

October 7, 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.
Copyright © 2020 Virginia Forestry Association, All rights reserved.
The VFA Voice

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(804) 278-8733

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