- Report Published -
|Annual Report on the Actions, Conclusions and Recommendations for Conserving the Commonwealth’s Forest Supply - 2010|
|As you read through the 2010 State of the Forest report, don’t be concerned if you find yourself thinking that you’re in an amusement park instead of reading about forestry’s $27.5 Billion impact in the Commonwealth. You see, with all the highs and lows and the twists and turns you will be reading about in the next few pages, you would be right to feel as if you are on a roller coaster ride that just won’t end! Yes, Fiscal Year 2010 had its fair share of ups and downs.|
While the state budget (and the national economy) continues to present us with many challenges, it hasn’t stopped us from protecting the public; providing services to landowners, and working with private enterprises to create and maintain jobs while developing new markets for Virginia’s forest products. It’s certainly made it more difficult operationally, but our employees continue to perform at a high level so that no citizen is unprotected or left un-served.
In our public safety role, we protected 1,345 homes and other structures -- valued at more than $136 Million -- from the ravages of 635 wildfires that burned 5,071 acres of land during this fiscal year. [Note: the record snowfall and soaking rains we had between December 2009 and May 2010 cut in half the average number of wildfires (1,200) and acreage burned (11,600).]
To ensure the quality of Virginia’s waters, we inspected 4,828 timber harvest sites on more than 173,600 acres. Overall best management practices compliance was at 82.4 percent, and 97.1 percent of the sites inspected had no active sedimentation present following close-out of the harvest operation.
We added two State Forests (Moore’s Creek and Big Woods) and more than doubled the size of another (Dragon Run). And we ensured the conservation of 13,304 acres of forestland through permanent easement agreements with a number of private landowners.
Other successes included the preparation of forest management plans on more than 142,000 acres and the implementation of more than 3,000 management practices that will help build healthy, valuable and productive forests across Virginia. Our partnerships with private companies, non-governmental organizations and other government agencies continue to grow so that the citizens of the Commonwealth receive top-notch products and services. And we relocated our Eastern Region office from Tappahannock to Providence Forge in New Kent County.
The forest health arena is one full of twists and turns. While traditional pests, such as gypsy moth and southern pine beetle, have been on the wane, several new ones – emerald ash borer and thousand cankers disease – are threatening the state’s ash and black walnut trees, respectively. And these new pests have the potential to cost the Commonwealth hundreds of millions of dollars if they decimate those tree species. We will continue to monitor the situation and do all that we can to lessen the impact of these invasive pests.
To learn more about all that’s happening within the more than 15.7 million acres of Virginia’s forestland, I invite you to read on.
/s/ Carl E. Garrison III