Funding available for forestry enhancements

forestry12Forest landowners looking to improve their woodlands by creating good habitat for bobwhite quail, which prefer sunny and open areas, have a new source of funds available to them.

Through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), funding is available to forest landowners in 15 Virginia counties to support the implementation of three beneficial forestry practices: commercial thinning in small acreage stands; planting of shortleaf pine, and pre-commercial thinning of pine stands.

This program is designed for private, non-industrial forest landowners in the counties of Bland, Wythe, Greensville, Southampton, Sussex, Culpeper, Greene, Madison, Orange, Rappahannock, Essex, King and Queen, King William, Halifax and Augusta.

Jay Jeffreys, science team leader at VDGIF, said, “Bobwhite quail populations have plummeted in recent years due to loss of appropriate habitat, such as brushy, weedy areas; field and forest edges, and fallow lands.  Forestry practices that promote healthy and productive forests can, at the same time, create good habitat for quail.”

Dean Cumbia, VDOF’s director of forest management, said, “Through generous support of VDGIF, forest landowners in the specified counties are now eligible for up to $10,000 in cost-share funding for implementing certain beneficial forestry practices.  Thinning of stands gives trees more room to grow and allows more sunlight to reach the ground. The additional sunlight encourages the growth of small plants that serve as food and cover for wildlife.  And because of their slow, steady growth rate, shortleaf pine stands retain an open condition longer than other species.”

Program registration is underway now, and qualified practices must be implemented by June 15.  To sign up, or to learn more about this program, contact your local VDOF office or visit the Agency’s website at

www.dof.virginia.gov.

The Virginia Department of Forestry protects and develops healthy, sustainable forest resources for Virginians.  Headquartered in Charlottesville, the Agency has forestry staff members assigned to every county to provide citizen service and public safety protection across the Commonwealth.  VDOF is an equal opportunity provider.

With nearly 16 million acres of forestland and more than 144,000 Virginians employed in forestry, forest products and related industries, Virginia forests provide more than $27.5 Billion annually in benefits to the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ mission is:

  • to manage Virginia’s wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth;
  • to provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia;
  • to promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing;
  • to provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia’s fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities.

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