MEDIA ADVISORY: Researchers to participate in Ruffed Grouse Workshop

BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 18, 2004 – Researchers from Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources will present new findings at the Ruffed Grouse Workshop Wednesday, Aug. 25, at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

The objective of the Ruffed Grouse Workshop is to provide land managers and researchers from state and federal natural resource conservation agencies with state of the art information on ruffed grouse ecology and management in the Appalachian Mountains. It also is open to all interested parties including hunters and non-hunters.

The workshop will report on information gained from the recently completed Appalachian Cooperative Grouse Research Project (ACGRP), which was initiated in 1996 to investigate the apparent decline of ruffed grouse in the Appalachian Mountains. The ACGRP was a six-year research effort conducted on 12 study sites in eight Appalachian states including North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Primary cooperators included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, MeadWestvaco Corporation, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Ruffed Grouse Society, state natural resource agencies in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and North Carolina, and departments of wildlife sciences or biology at Eastern Kentucky University, University of Tennessee, West Virginia University, California University of Pennsylvania, Fordham University, University of Rhode Island, and Virginia Tech. The cooperative nature of the project resulted in one of the largest ruffed grouse research projects ever conducted and provided insight into multiple aspects of ruffed grouse ecology and management in the Appalachian region.

Dean Stauffer, professor of fisheries and wildlife and Ph.D. candidate, and Patrick Devers, will present research findings from an investigation of ruffed grouse population ecology and the effects of hunting on ruffed grouse in the Appalachian region.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.