New River Watershed Roundtable, Forestry Committee

Minutes, Wednesday, May 25, 2006

5:00 p.m., Wytheville USDA Service Center


Members Attending:

Llyn Sharp, New River Watershed Roundtable

Gary Boring, New River Highlands RC & D Council

Jerry Moles, New River Land Trust

Robert Smith, Star City Studios

David Richert, Virginia DOF

Donnie Garman, Virginia DOF

Jim Baxley, Dixon Lumber Company




Members Not Present:

Don Philen, New River SWCD

Jennifer Gagnon, Virginia Tech

Scott Ward, Virginia DOF

Tim Phipps, New River SWCD

Dwayne Huff, New River SWCD

Bill Worrell, Virginia Tech

Kelly Miller, Virginia DCR

Mike Skinner, consulting forester

Rob Morgan, consulting forester

Bill Miller, Virginia Tech

Jonathan Luper


Agenda presented and attached.  No additions.


David Richert called the meeting to order at 5:15pm.  The group welcomed Dr. Jerry Moles and Robert Smith to our committee as new members.  Jerry works for the New River Land Trust as the Director of Stewardship, and with the Grayson County Landcare group.  Robert Smith is involved in a video production company (Star City Studios) in Roanoke and is currently filming forest management video for the Blue Ridge Forest Cooperative.


Update on Action Items from the Februrary Meeting:


v     Critical Species Tour—discussion and wrap-up.  The April 20th tour was successful, approximately 35 people attended.  Suggestions for improvement include: hold the program later in the year (when more of the natural heritage elements are blooming), display photos of natural heritage elements, mark items of note with flagging so all group members can see them.  The door prizes were a hit.  There were many favorable comments received on the guest speaker, Doug Ogle.  Another possibility is to make a video production to add to the presentation.  No additional action is needed at this time.


v     Forest Landowner Short Course—approximately 14 students attended the Woodland Options Course this spring in Galax, but due to weather related conflicts, the last session had sparse attendance.  Bill Worrell would like to hold a Sustainable Timber Harvesting and Marketing short course in SW Virginia this fall—possibly a follow-up in Grayson County?  There is a possibility of holding the Woodland Options Course this fall, somewhere in the Wythe / Bland / Tazewell area—mostly likely Wytheville.  Continue to generate interest in both of the potential short course offerings in the New River Watershed.


v     Tazewell Forestry Demo Tour—Tazewell SWCD has set June 13th, 2006 for this event.  The topics for the field day will include: selling timber, harvesting and water quality, and land use / stewardship planning.  This event will be used to gauge Tazewell County’s interest in eventually hosting one of the forestry short courses.


v     Forest Legacy Projects—federal funding limited or non-existent.  Discussion on the status of active Forest Legacy Projects in the New River Watershed, and general discussion on various federal and state cost-share programs.  Jerry Moles will keep the group informed on the funding status for current and future Forest Legacy projects.


v     Roundtable Update—report from Llyn Sharp: next meeting July 7, 2006, river cleanup scheduled for September 23, 2006, annual meeting to be held in October 2006.


v     Work Plan Review—Brainstorming for updating / prioritizing to the current Annual Plan of Work ending August 2006.  Several ideas:


o       Land management companies-what role does the Forestry Committee have in promoting / assisting with development of these?  The idea is that with more service providers (TSI, invasive species control, wildlife habitat improvement, etc), landowners (especially absentee landowners) will have and keep more natural resource revenues.

o       Promoting the Farm and Forestland Conservation Short Course—this is a new short course that will be ready by the fall.  Promoting this course is an action that fits well under one or more of the strategies within the current Annual Plan of Work

o       Low impact harvest methods / pre-harvest planning demonstrations—possibilities for 2007 workshop

o       Agroforestry brochures

o       Video production? Are there any opportunities to use a video production to assist with the Forestry Committee’s outreach efforts?


Forestry Committee Members should continue to think about these and other revisions to the annual plan of work for the next meeting, when we will finalize our APW 2006-2007


v     Next Meeting—the next meeting of the Forestry Committee will be Wednesday, August 23 at 5:00 p.m. Location USDA Service Center, Galax, VA. The Forestry Committee will review the 2005-2006 annual plan of work and finalize the  2006-2007 annual plan of work. 


v     Adjourned—7:15 pm.