Forestry in James City County, Virginia

Capital Work Area
serving the counties of Charles City, Hanover, Henrico, James City, King and Queen, King William and New Kent

Senior Area Forester: Vacant
Area Forester: David Slack. Cell:804.393.2644.
Area Forester: Dave Terwilliger. Cell: 804.332.4497.
Technician: Kathleen Ogilvy. Cell: 804.314.5904.
Technician: Paul Reier. Cell: 804.393.2842.
Technician: Pickett Upshaw. Cell: 804.925.5791.

Virginia Department of Forestry
4445 Upshaw Road | Map and Directions to this office.
Aylett, Virginia 23009
Phone: 804.769.2962

Virginia Department of Forestry
11301 Pocahontas Trail | Map and Directions to this office.
Providence Forge, Virginia 23140
Phone: 804.966.2209

General Information

Forest Management

James City County Statistics

  • Acres of timberland: 64,973
  • Percentage of total land area in forest: 64%
  • Acres of National Forest: 0
  • Acres of privately owned timberland: 50,301
  • Acres owned by forest industry: 6,766
  • Acres owned by local, state and federal government: 3.1148
  • Acres of reserved timberland: 4,752
  • Reforestation Acres (5 year average): 5 tracts for 338 acres

Forestry in James City County

You might say that forestry in the United Sates began in James City County when the original 104 colonists landed here at Jamestown in 1607. During the early days of our nation these colonists depended directly on the forest their existence. They used the forest not only for building materials and fuelwood but also as a place to gather herbs for medicine and nuts and berries for food. The forest also produced clear streams for drinking water and abundant wildlife. Prior to the colonists, the Native Americans used the bounty of the forest to support their rich livelihood for thousands of years.

Today, nearly 400 years after the landing at Jamestown, James City County has a population of over 45,000 people. According to the 1992 U. S. Forest Service inventory there are 64,973 acres of forestland in James City County. These forest still provide the same benefits to today's citizens that they did to the first colonists; clean erosion free water, wildlife habitat, clean air, and pleasant scenery. Commercial timber production and fuelwood production are also important benefits of the forest resource.

However, due to the increasing population, these benefits are being derived from fewer and fewer acres. Our forest lands will continue to increase in value. Demands for development will increase real estate values. Wooded areas are being sought by developers because homeowners naturally prefer the comfort and beauty of large, healthy landscape trees around their homes.

Trees growing where we live and work can be managed as a forest, much as trees in a more rural setting. These backyard forests still provide the benefits of erosion control, clean air and wildlife habitat not to mention their aesthetic qualities. One significant difference is that in a rural setting a few people affect the health of many acres of trees whereas in an urban setting many people have an impact on just a few trees.

Eastern James City County now faces many of the challenges of caring for trees in a urban environment, whereas traditional forestry for timber production and wildlife habitat can still be found in the western end. A healthy forest resource either rural or urban will return the investment costs many times over and in many different ways. With proper management the forests of James City will remain a renewable and sustainable resource for the residents of the county and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Last modified: Monday, 08-May-2017 16:33:19 EDT

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Identification Guides
We've created two informative guides, covering the most common native tree species and the most common shrubs and vines found in Virginia's forests.We've created two informative guides, covering the most common native tree species and the most common shrubs and vines found in Virginia's forests. Learn more and purchase these guides.