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Forest landowners retreat to the woods 

Virginia Department of ForestrySouthwest Virginia landowners can learn more about actively managing their forestland during the Beginning Forest Landowners’ Retreat, planned for Aug. 27-28 at the Matthews State Forest in Galax.

Topics will include forest management planning, timber sales, wildlife management, invasive species, tree identification and basic forest measurement. A tour of the Matthews State Forest will showcase white pine and hardwood management, wildlife practices and water quality protection.

Sponsoring partners for the retreat are Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and Virginia Tech’s Forest Landowner Education Program.

“This program provides an excellent introduction to forest management issues, especially for those new to land ownership,” said Ellen Powell of VDOF.

“We use a combination of classroom and field sessions, taught by experts, to get participants fully engaged in learning,” said Jennifer Gagnon of VFLEP. “The retreat format also allows people to share their experiences with other landowners.”

Registration with Thursday and Friday night lodging included is $95 per person or $170 per couple. The rate for commuters or those arranging their own lodging is $55 per person or $90 per couple. Both registration types include meals all day Friday, and Saturday through lunch. On-site lodging is limited, so participants should register early or plan to make their own lodging arrangements.

To register online or download a brochure, visit  The deadline to register is Aug. 12.

For more information, contact Jennifer Gagnon at 540-231-6391 or

Persons with disabilities who desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity may also contact Jennifer during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations, no later than August 12. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

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