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Extension, cooperatives to hold 34th annual Forestry and Wildlife Field Tours


Three people examine grasses in a field. Participants on a 2009 tour learn about growing warm season grasses for quail management in Orange County, Va.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 28, 2010 – Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, in collaboration with Virginia’s natural resource agencies, companies, and associations, will hold their 34th Annual Fall Forestry and Wildlife Field Tour Programs starting Oct. 15.

The tours offer landowners, natural resource professionals, and other interested Virginians the opportunity to spend a day in the field visiting a variety of properties that are actively managed for timber and wildlife. The experience provides a perfect setting for landowners to discuss their forest management issues with professionals in an informal setting, as well as to network with their peers.

“The field tour series is the longest running program of its kind in Virginia, and perhaps even the country,” observed Jennifer Gagnon, coordinator of the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program.

The tours promote wise resource management on private forestlands and focus on science-based forestry and wildlife management practices, public and private sources of technical and financial management assistance, and networking among landowner and natural resource professionals. Stops on private, industry, and public lands demonstrate multiple-use management opportunities and practices first hand.

Tours will be held in Rappahannock and Page counties on Oct. 15 (Northwest Tour), Russell and Wise counties on Oct. 29 (Southwest Tour), and King and Queen County on Nov. 10 (Eastern Tour). Participants should arrive at sites by 8 a.m. and will return by 5 p.m. Pre-registration is encouraged, as space is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for the Southwest and Eastern tours is $25 per person; registration for the Northwest Tour is $45 per person. The registration fee, which covers lunch, refreshments, and transportation, is due one week before the tour date.

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.