Message from the State Forester

Rob Farrell, State Forester

Rob Farrell, State Forester

At the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF), we take pride in our mission to protect and promote trees and forests to ensure they provide the greatest level of benefits for all Virginians. Benefits such as clean water and air, cooler cities, and climate resilience which are essential to public health; critical habitat for plant and animal species; destinations for recreation, rest and refuge; as well as forest products, from building materials to mushrooms, and alternatives to fossil fuels and plastics. Trees are part of our lives every day, from the products we use to the air that we breathe.

It is our hope that this website will serve as a resource for everyone who is part of the community built around the trees and forests of Virginia. This community includes our forest landowners, foresters and land managers, loggers, the mills, the manufacturers and exporters, our wildland firefighters, the agencies and organizations, as well as the policy makers that work with and on behalf of our forests. It also includes every resident and visitor who we hope will learn more about how trees and forests provide all these benefits while providing the sustainable raw material for Virginia’s third largest industry.

We need more people to appreciate the importance of trees and forests because they face growing challenges. Some tree species are being devastated by nonnative insects and diseases. Some forests are being impacted by climate change, invasive plants, and development. Given all the benefits that trees and forests provide, we need to do all we can to sustain them so they can sustain us.

Take a look around these pages and see how DOF is working with the forestry community across Virginia to protect, grow, restore, and sustain the forest resource. I invite you to explore the many ways we help Virginia embrace the great potential of our forests.