Forestry and Natural Resources through Virginia Cooperative Extension

VSU partners with Virginia Tech to form Virginia Cooperative Extension.  Virginia Cooperative Extension puts university knowledge into the hands of people. We are credible experts and educators who provide information, education, and tools you can use every day to improve your life.

Extension Programs include:

For more information about Natural Resource and Forestry Extension Programs near you, contact VSU Faculty or your local Cooperative Extension office

VSU Focal Areas

VSU’s College of Agriculture, Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Virginia Department of Forestry have agreed cooperate, based on each institution’s strengths. VSU has identified the three potential focal areas for its Natural Resource and Forestry program: Small Woodlot ManagementUrban Forest Management and Alternative Forest Production Systems. We also engage youth and adults in environmental education.  Each focal area will consist of three parts: Research, Outreach, and Education.  To provide feedback on these focal areas, please contact VSU Forestry and Natural Resource Faculty.

More Links

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Virginia Department of Forestry

Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program (Virginia Tech/Virginia Cooperative Extension)

Virginia Forestry Association

Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

USDA Forest Service

Did you know?

  • Natural and modified ecosystems contribute numerous environmental services, such as clean water, clean air, and habitat for wildlife.  The value of these services is estimated at over $10 billion annually for Virginia alone.
  • Over past decades some wildlife species have rebounded, while others are on the decline.
  • 62% of Virginia and 33% of the US is forested.   Many cities also have unique urban forests.
  • 80% of Virginia forestland is owned by non-industrial private forest landowners. (Rose 2009)
  • 1/3 of streams in Virginia are impaired. 
  • Virginia’s forest industry generates $17 billion annually, and employs 100,000 people. (Rephann 2013)
  • Natural resource management is a multidisciplinary field, including biological, physical, and social sciences, as well as arts and humanities.  YOU have something to contribute!

Science-based management of natural resources such as woods, water, and wildlife is essential to ensure maximum benefits for society now and in the future?


small woodlot management

Production sale and sale of timber is the most obvious economic benefit that forests can provide to landowners; however, small and limited-resource landowners are left at a disadvantage.

Most small landowners will only sell timber once or a relatively few times in their lifetime. Furthermore, economies of scale make logging for standard products on small tracts uneconomical. With this in mind, it is important to provide resources to help landowners sustainably manage and utilize these resources, and to produce higher-value timber products that create profits at small scales.

Resources

The Woods in Your Backyard

Dealing with Timber Theft” (Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication)

Farm Tractor Logging for Woodlot Owners” (Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication)

Forest Landowner’s Guide to the Measurement of Timber and Logs” (Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication)

Sustainable Forestry: A Guide for Virginia Forest Landowners” (Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication)

Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program

Virginia Cooperative Extension (find your local office)

Virginia Department of Forestry (find your local office)


urban forest management

Urban forest management can help meet urgent needs in Virginia and the US.

Well-selected and well-placed trees and other perennial vegetation can reduce energy consumption and costs from heating and cooling buildings; reduce costs of stormwater engineering and improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay; clean contaminated sites; and capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, if not selected and managed properly, trees can interfere with infrastructure.

Resources

Trees Virginia (Virginia Urban Forest Council)

Urban and Community Forestry (USDA Forest Service)

Urban Forestry Issues” (Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication)

Value, Benefits, and Costs of Urban Trees” (Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication)

Trees for Energy Conservation (eXtension)


alternative forest production systems

In addition to producing timber from small acreages, many small and limited-resource landowners need to generate income from their forests in order to get by from year to year.

While timber provides only periodic income, many other production systems in forests can produce yearly income, if well managed. Opportunities include production of mushrooms, fruits, and botanical herbs, as well as management of trees in combination with livestock or crops.

Resources

USDA National Agroforestry Center

Profitable Farms and Woodlands: A Practical Guide to Agroforestry for Landowners, Farmers and Ranchers

Center for Agroforestry (University of Missouri)

NCHerb.org

Silvopasture: 30 Years of Applying Research and Innovation” (YouTube video by Alabama Cooperative Extension)

Producing and Marketing Wild Simulated Ginseng in Forest and Agroforestry Systems” (Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication)

Growing American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) in Forestlands” (Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication)

Forest Farming (eXtension)

Forest Farming (YouTube channel)


If you have questions about managing forests for income or other objectives, or about how trees and other forest plants and animals impact you and your community, please feel contact the Extension Specialists below with your questions.  Also, please contact us if you have input or suggestions to help VSU further develop its forestry program.

Dr. marcus comer

Extension Specialist, Natural Resources

Phone: (804) 524-5467

Email: mcomer@vsu.edu

joel koci

Urban/Community Forestry Extension Associate

Phone: (804) 524-5758

Email: jkoci@vsu.edu