Extension, collaborators host third annual Forest Landowner Weekend Retreat

A group of people in a forest looking at a leaf held by an instructor.

Forest landowners learn how to identify common Virginia woodland trees.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 6, 2010 – Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment will hold their third annual Forest Landowner Weekend Retreat Oct. 30-31 at Twin Lakes State Park in Green Bay, Va.

“The retreat provides a great opportunity for people to learn the real value of their woodlands, as well as talk with other landowners and experts in the field,” said Jason Fisher of Virginia Cooperative Extension. “With the Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest as our ‘classroom,’ participants will be fully engaged in this interactive learning experience.”

Under the theme “Managing Value in Your Forest,” topics will include pine and hardwood management techniques, timber appraisals and sales, pond management, invasive species control, estate planning, and more. Features include an electroshocking demonstration to sample fish health in the lake, and special guest Tommy Mills, a driftwood carver also known as the “eagle tree artist.”

Sponsoring partners for the retreat are the Virginia Department of Forestry, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Ballyshannon Fund, a private fund in central Virginia focused on landowner education.

“We developed this program to help private forest landowners meet their personal objectives for their woodland property,” said Dave Snyder, assistant regional forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry. “Whether they are interested in preserving the beauty of their land, harvesting timber, or enhancing wildlife habitat, this retreat has something for every forest landowner.”

The cost of the weekend retreat is $45 per person, which covers all meals, presentations, and materials. Participants should make their own lodging arrangements — cabins and camping are available at the Twin Lakes Park, and several hotels are located in nearby Farmville and Burkeville.

The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, which consistently ranks among the top three programs of its kind in the nation, advances the science of sustainability. Programs prepare the future generation of leaders to address the complex natural resources issues facing the planet. World-class faculty lead transformational research that complements the student learning experience and impacts citizens and communities across the globe on sustainability issues, especially as they pertain to water, climate, fisheries, wildlife, forestry, sustainable biomaterials, ecosystems, and geography. As a land-grant university, Virginia Tech serves the Commonwealth of Virginia in teaching, research, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.