Tours give opportunity to learn about land use in Fauquier County

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 28, 2004 – Virginia landowners have the opportunity to see wise resource management in Fauquier County during the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources and Department of Forestry annual Forestry and Wildlife Field Tour, Friday, Oct. 22.

"The tour is designed to show forestry and wildlife management opportunities, acquaint participants with public and private sources of technical and financial management assistance and demonstrate multiple-use, sustainable, forest management practices," said Shawn A. Baker, coordinator of the Virginia Forest Landowner Education program of Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech. The participants will see private, industry, and public lands and hear talks on how to manage the property by foresters, wildlife specialists, and owners. The programs focus on multiple-use management opportunities, Baker said.

"Learning about our natural resources is for all ages, so bring your family," Baker said, "and dress comfortably for the weather and walking in the woods. The tour will go in rain or shine."

Individuals can register in advance by contacting the registrar, Keith Dickinson, Virginia Cooperative Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, 24 Pelham St., Warrenton, Va. 20186 prior to the tour date. Cost is $35 for those registered in advance and $40 when paid on the program date. Participants meet for registration at 8 a.m.; the tours start at 8:30 a.m. and end no later than 5:30 p.m.

The Fauquier County tour will start from the parking lot of Wal-Mart at 8278 James Madison Highway in Warrenton.

After hearing about various timber-harvesting options at a 40-acre timber harvest site, participants will continue to a privately owned wetland to see how it provides a home for wildlife and then have a catered lunch at Inglewood Farm’s pavilion on Lake Ritchie. After lunch, participants will see wildlife management at the Phelps Wildlife Management Area and will learn about pine management for timber, wildlife, or both. Participants will see natural succession and learn what tools exist to manage forest stands and wildlife habitats. The last stop will give them a chance to see conservation practices such as fencing and tree planting.

This annual education program is offered in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Forestry Association, MeadWestvaco Corporation, Georgia Pacific Corporation, Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, International Paper Corporation, Virginia Tree Farm Committee, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Virginia Division of Soil and Water Conservation, Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Resource Management Service, Inc., Forest Landowners Association, Inc., Mountain Forest Products, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Powell River Project, Forestland Group, New River/Highlands and South Centre Corridors RC & D.

Tours of the same style will be offered at Dickenson County, Friday, Oct. 8, Bedford County, Friday, Oct. 15, and Sussex County, Friday, Oct. 29.