Category: State Forests

Field Notes

Field Notes: Wandering the Winter Woods

March 16, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator A few weeks ago, on a cold but sunny day, I visited Paul State Forest in Rockingham County for the first time. It was a great place for a winter woods walk. The Paul became a State Forest in 1962 – a gift to the state from a local judge, John Paul. The forest is included in the Department of Wildlife Resources’ (DWR)... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Longleaf Pine Planting at Big Woods

December 29, 2020 - By Jim Schroering, VDOF Longleaf Pine/Southern Pine Beetle Coordinator On a cold but sunny Saturday in December, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) completed a longleaf pine planting project on their Big Woods State Forest (BWSF). Longleaf pine once covered more than 1,000,000 acres in Virginia, but it is now considered a diminished species. Until 25 years ago, only 200 mature longleaf pines were left in southeast Virginia. Longleaf pine... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Covey Call in the Big Woods

October 20, 2020 - By Scott Bachman, Senior Area Forester, Blackwater Region In the pre-dawn hours, Venus and Mars were the brightest objects in the dark sky, save for the crescent moon that, as the old timers might say, was holding water. The occasional satellite could be seen in its telltale unblinking arc streaking across the inky blackness of space. Suddenly, a shooting star blazed west to east before fading out.  Stephen Jasenak and I were... Read More

Stories

What’s Happening at Whitney State Forest?: Part Two

February 27, 2020 - On January 22, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) successfully conducted a burn on the first of two units (“the Field”) at Whitney State Forest scheduled for prescribed fire in the spring of 2020. (Read What’s Happening at Whitney State Forest? Part One for additional background information.) “A prescribed fire is like a wildfire that happens backwards – meaning, the fire practitioners are able to assess the site, plan for... Read More

Stories

What’s Happening at Whitney State Forest?: Part One

January 28, 2020 - Edited from a December 2019 notice from Whitney State Forest. You may have noticed that the trail along the Shortleaf stand (see map) has been reopened and the trail around the Meadow (see map) has been widened. This is in preparation for prescribed fire that the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) hopes to accomplish this winter or early spring.  (Note: The first portion of the prescribed burn took place on... Read More

Stories

American Chestnut Harvest at Lesesne State Forest

November 7, 2019 - Chestnut trees have all but disappeared from the landscape; the Virginia Department of Forestry recently had a rare opportunity to harvest pure American chestnut wood. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) maintains a chestnut research project at Lesesne State Forest in Nelson County, VA. American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was once a common deciduous tree in many eastern North American forests and was valued for its nuts, lumber products and firewood.... Read More

Stories

First Mountain State Forest Dedication

October 16, 2019 - On the afternoon of October 7, a crowd of more than 70 people gathered in Rockingham County for the dedication of Virginia’s newest state forest, First Mountain. First Mountain is the 25th state forest in Virginia and contributes more than 570 beautiful acres of forestland, open fields, and stream frontage to the state lands system. Gary Heiser, State Forests Manager, selected an idyllic location on the property as a ceremony... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Goodness Gracious Goats!

October 9, 2019 - by VDOF Forest Health Specialist Katlin Mooneyham Our VDOF Forest Health Program staff are often asked how to control certain invasive plant species. Most recommendations involve spraying or applying chemicals since that is often the easiest and most practical way for people to remove these plants. However, there are times when landowners and citizens are not interested in herbicides and ask for other recommendations. One alternative option that is gaining... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: An Intern’s Day at Conway Robinson State Forest

August 15, 2019 - By Intern Marissa Ardovino As the summer comes to an end, I’ll recall one day I spent in Conway Robinson State Forest… I walked quietly down the blue trail at Conway Robinson State Forest, rounding a bend in the path when suddenly a small branch shot backwards and retracted upon itself into the depths of a thorny blackberry bramble. I stopped and listened to soft rustling in the shadows of... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Shedding Light on the Situation

July 20, 2018 - by Area Forester Sarah Long If you were out in the Conway Robinson State Forest around the end of June, you might have wondered what those folks with chainsaws were doing to your state forest. As one of those folks with a chainsaw, I am here to tell you that tale. Trees produce untold pounds and pounds of seed every year in the hope that just a few of them... Read More