Prevention and suppression of wildfires is a key part of the Virginia Department of Forestry’s mission; the agency achieves this through education, along with responding to and suppressing wildfires. Firefighters observe weather and drought conditions to maintain an appropriate state of readiness to allow quick response to wildfires. The Agency also uses prescribed or controlled fire as a management tool to benefit Virginia ecosystems.
Healthy, sustainable forests are essential to our economy and provide benefits to people and wildlife in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Forestry monitors the health, composition, and inventory of Virginia’s public and private forests to inform land management practices. Field staff assist landowners through technical assistance and management planning to support conservation and sustainable forestry practices.
Conserving and managing forestland is critical for the health of our environment, the supply of forest products, and the overall quality of life. The Virginia Department of Forestry works to ensure that forests and the waters that flow from them are protected today and for future generations. By developing existing markets and identifying emerging opportunities, the agency supports forest industry and rural economies.
Forests are vital for preserving and improving water quality; forested watersheds are critical sources of drinking water, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and offer recreational opportunities. The Virginia Department of Forestry protects these water sources through timber harvest site inspections and development of best management practices for harvesting operations. The agency cooperates with partners and landowners to preserve riparian buffers and protect water quality.
From public parks and yard trees to greenway corridors and streamside buffers, trees provide critical benefits to people and communities. The Virginia Department of Forestry seeks to develop diverse and healthy forests that are accessible for all. The program supports cities, towns, and communities as they establish and maintain their urban tree canopy.
The Virginia Department of Forestry creates and uses a variety of conservation education resources for both children and adults. Field staff delivers programming to improve knowledge of forest ecosystems, forest resources, and forestry practices. Virginia’s state forest system provides opportunities for education, recreation, and demonstration of forestry practices. All state forests are sustainably managed to provide the greatest benefits to Virginians.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts