VFA Responds to Proposed Permit System for Migratory Bird "Take"
Citing a 2017 reinterpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) by the Trump Administration, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) recently unveiled “discussion draft” regulations that would require incidental take permits for construction activities. If adopted, Virginia would become the first state in the country to require a permit for incidental take under the federal MBTA.
VFA joined with VLA and VFPA to submit comments on behalf of the forestry community (PDF version), providing a more complete historical and legal context for MBTA while underscoring the importance of working forests in providing habitat for migratory birds. The MBTA was adopted in 1918 in accordance with US treaty requirements to curtail the hunting of migratory bird species. The concept of incidental (or accidental, non-intended) take was first introduced in the 1970s as part of the Endangered Species Act. Though never formally adopted as part of MBTA, incidental take has been the subject of a long, conflicting legal history, an ongoing lawsuit, and current federal rulemaking.
VFA will keep members appraised of ongoing developments with respect to formal DGIF rulemaking. For questions, please contact VFA Executive Director Corey Connors (email).
Call for Committee Volunteers
Volunteering with VFA is an excellent way to meet other members, develop leadership skills, lend your expertise, and give back to the forestry community. Our volunteers are instrumental in a variety of association efforts, including planning our annual Summit, developing member recruitment and retention strategies, developing a robust operating budget, planning excellent issues of Virginia Forests magazine, and much more.
Visit our website for more information on how you can get more involved with VFA. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please complete the volunteer interest form by June 10, 2020.
Virginia COVID-19 Update: New "Phase One" Requirements for Businesses
On May 8th, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 61, establishing guidelines for business operations in the first phase of his Forward Virginia reopening plan. Though reporting has focused on rules for restricted or closed businesses, EO 61 includes both updated guidelines and new penalties for all businesses, including forest products businesses that have remained in operation this Spring.
VFA has updated its COVID-19 Resource Page with these guidelines to assist member businesses with understanding these new guidelines.
Need Hand Sanitizer for Your Employees?
Since 1949, PMI Lubricants has been a leading oil distributor in Virginia, distributing petroleum lubricants, chemicals, and equipment to the consumer, automotive, commercial and industrial markets. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, PMI Lubricants has started supplying hand sanitizer and germicidal bleach.
Virginia Project Learning Tree - New Website & Educational Resources
Virginia Project Learning Tree recently launched its new, updated website, including a series of videos shot by Virginia PLT Coordinator Page Hutchinson that demonstrate nature-based activities that can be done at home. Visit PLT-Virginia's Updated Website for these great new resources.
FRA Issue Update Forest Resources Association - May 15, 2020 and May 22, 2020
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety publishes a Final Rule changing Hours of Service requirements; CDC publishes extensive guidelines for reopening businesses...MOREPandemic Pushes Lumber Prices Higher LBM Journal - May 18, 2020
Rising demand stemming from a surge of do-it-yourself projects from consumers working at home coupled with restricted supply due to lumber mills operating at a...MOREClemson's New Outdoor Education Center Uses a Mass Timber Structural System University Buildings - May 19, 2020
Clemson University's 16,000-sf Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center has become the first mass timber structure on the campus and the second mass timber facility...MOREImpact of COVID-19 on US Forestry and Forest Products Forest Landowner's Association - May 17, 2020
FLA joined the group of 12 forestry stakeholders working with Congress to urge a message of solidarity and promote priority polices to ensure a rebound in wood markets. ...MOREFFRC Weekly Update - May 22, 2020 Federal Forest Resource Coalition - May 22, 2020
Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service Propose Legislative Solution for “Cottonwood” Case: This week, the Chief of the Forest Service and the Director of the Fish &...MORE