How to Increase Forest Productivity and Profits Tuesday, February 9, 2010

9:30 am – 5:15 pm ~Charlottesville, Virginia
follow link for agenda and conference details

The Forest Landowners Association and Virginia Tech University invite you to learn how to increase your forest’s productivity and profits. The meeting will address challenges and solutions to increasing productivity and profitability for Virginia forest landowners, including applying the best genetics and silviculture, evaluating management treatments likely to be most profitable, anticipating markets, and working within the constraints of policy and regulation.

3.5 Category 1 and 1.5 Category 2 CFE credits are available for this meeting.

Virginia Department of Forestry Central Office
Fontaine Research Park
900 Natural Resources Dr., Ste 800
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Registration is $10 per person for FLA members and $15 per person for non-members. Please fill out and return the registration by February 1. Limited space is available.

ALIEN NIGHTMARES Invasive Plants Workshop

Learn about the ecological effects of non-native plants on a global and local basis and how to develop a plan to control invasive plants on your property.

Learn to identify and control the most troublesome non-native invasive plants in our area. Learn about some commonly used landscape plants that are invasive, and which non-invasive and native plants can be used as alternatives.

Saturday, January 16, 2009
9AM to 2:30 PM- Registration begins at 8:30

Maryland Extension Building- Carroll County
700 Agricultural Center Drive
Westminster, MD 21157

Cost: $20.00 includes morning coffee, lunch, and class materials
Cash or check due by January 11th.

For more information and agenda visit
Or call 410-848-9290 or email

Sponsored by the Carroll County Forest Conservancy District Board

Inside MFA for 2010 and beyond

Program Area Leadership for 2010

Governance Committee—tasked with identifying, recruiting, and mentoring leadership potential for the Association and successional stability for the Executive Committee:
John Foster (Chair), John Jastrzembski, Steve Mchenry

Education and Outreach Committee
- Responsible for planning MFA sponsored workshops or forest tours, and for coordinating MFA’s efforts in cooperative agreements with other associations: ·
Brian Knox (Chair), Donnelle Keech, Joan Bearden, Mel Noland, Bob Tjaden

Membership CommitteeResponsible for organizing and implementing efforts for member recruitment and retention:
Gene McCandless (Chair), Bob Shives, Chris Holmgren, Robert Hess, Tim Smith

Policy Committee - (Formerly Governmental Affairs Committee) Responsible for organizing and implementing efforts for policy development and advocacy efforts:
John Colton, Chris Holmes, Pete Miller, Kirk Rodgers, Tom Wieland,

“I am pleased to have such an outstanding group to help guide the Association. MFA will benefit greatly from the knowledge, experience, and individual perspective of these outstanding leaders, representing a cross-section of forestry interests from throughout the State. Special welcome to new Board members John Colton, Pete Miller and Tom Wieland, and returning Board members Robert Hess, Chris Holmgren and Steve McHenry. I look forward to working with the entire Board of MFA to find solutions to the challenges ahead and thank them for their service to our forest community,” Bob Eaton, MFA President

The Board of Governors is the policy-making body of MFA and has ultimate authority for the governance and management of its direction and finances. One-third of the Board’s membership is elected each year by the membership for a three year term.

Problems associated with Marcellus shale drilling

Letter to the Editor:

Cumberland Times-News

January 06, 2010 06:32 pm

— Editor’s note: A seminar on Marcellus shale, natural gas extraction and how the gas industry could impact the region’s residents is scheduled today at 6:30 p.m. in the Keyser High School auditorium by the Lycoming County Penn State Cooperative Extension Service.

The Marcellus shale has been the most recent popular topic of exploitation in West Virginia. The shale is described as a black shale because it is black in color, containing kerogen.

Kerogen is not oil. Kerogen is derived from coal-forming materials which accumulated in an oxygen-starved environment and which were subsequently exposed to heat and pressure from overlying sediments and mountain-building processes. Kerogen has a higher molecular weight than oil.

It is “released” from shale by a drilling methodology which uses approximately one million gallons of pressurized water per well (a process called hydraulic fracturing or “hydrofracking”), with the addition of silica (stored in silos and which can potentially release silica dust to the surrounding area: this can cause silicosis in people who breath the silica dust) and chemicals such as surfactants to help release the kerogen.

So far, none of the drilling companies has released the composition of the chemical constituents added to the drilling water. The Marcellus shale contains the following radioactive elements: uranium, thorium, radium 226, radium 228, and radon; it is considered highly radioactive by Hill, D.G., Lombardi, T.E. and Martin, J.P. 2004: “Fractured Shale Gas Potential in New York”; Northeastern Geology and Environmental Sciences, Vol. 26. p.8

The Marcellus shale contains the mineral pyrite (iron sulfide), which forms into sulfuric acid and iron hydroxide when exposed to water and air. The resulting acidic drainage dissolves toxic metals occurring in the surrounding rock, thereby releasing them to the environment.
Toxic metals typically released by acid drainage (the same as coal mining drainage) can include copper, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury, cobalt, chromium, molybdenum, nickel, vanadium, and zinc.

Problems associated with drilling the Marcellus shale in such wells include: 1) the excessive use of water from nearby rivers and streams, impacting our water resources; 2) the release of radioactive materials (and methane gas) into the air; 3) the release of radioactive materials onto the ground surface and into streams from drill cuttings and from recovery of drilling water directed into streams; 4) the release of radioactive materials into groundwater from “backwashing” of the pressurized water introduced into the well and from underground injection of the used drilling water; and 5) the release of toxic metals and excessive acidity (similar to acid mine drainage) into our streams from drill cuttings and recovered drilling water directed into streams.

Any radioactive methane gas recovered from the well is piped to holding tanks and subsequently transported to major gas lines such as the Tennessee Pipeline in Pennsylvania or the Millennium Pipeline in New York to be sold to the public. Therefore, there are hundreds of miles of numerous pipelines associated with transporting the radioactive methane gas from the wells.
On the Internet, there are numerous Web sites available which provide information on the Marcellus shale and the potential environmental problems which can occur. Some of these sites are:; ; and
Pamela C. Dodds, Ph.D.
Registered professional geologist
Montrose, W.Va.

from the Virginia Landowner Association

The temperature is well below freezing and the wind is howling; but the snow flurries are glittering in the sun. It’s a great time to wrap up in your new Snuggie and read the Winter 2010 Edition of the Virginia Forest Landowner Update. Click on the links below or visit the Virginia Forest Landowner Update website to read current and archived articles.

In this edition:

· Virginia’s Big Woodland Transfer by Adam Downing and Mike Santucci

Virginia is poised to see one of the greatest shifts in forestland ownership since the Kings’ Grants of yore. A combination of factors have been in play over the last few centuries culminating in an aging Boomer generation that now owns the majority of Virginia’s woodland. With relative affluence and affordable land, boomers have acquired farm and forestland over the years, and are now poised to pass much of that land on to the next generation of owners. Read more…

· Tomorrow Woods Program Part I: Land Conservation by Rob Suydam

Virginia has established itself as a leader in land conservation by being one of only three states nationwide that has transferable state income tax credits as incentives for landowners who are interested in protecting their land from development. This state tax incentive, along with federal tax benefits, has generated a great deal of interest in land conservation, particularly conservation easements, resulting in the protection of over 170,000 acres of land in just the last two years. Read more…

· You Ain’t From Around Here! Exotic Invasive of the Quarter: Asian Lady Beetle by Jennifer Gagnon

In the Winter 2007 edition of the Virginia Forest Landowner Update, I featured the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) in “You Ain’t From Around Here!” In this article, I touted the on-going research to control HWA by releasing ladybird beetles (aka ladybugs, lady beetles), which are adelgid predators. Little did I know that the publication of this article would result in my phone ringing off the hook for weeks. Virginians were outraged that researchers had intentionally released these critters. One caller claimed she swept up buckets of ladybugs from her walkway every day in the fall. Read more…

· Establishing a Riparian Forest Buffer on the Bluestone River by David Richert

· Although many landowners associate tree planting with the springtime flush of growth, the late fall dormant season is also a biologically appropriate season for tree planting. Some landowners who are faced with a lengthy springtime to-do list may actually prefer planting trees in late fall because of logistics or the availability of volunteer labor. This was the case for Tazewell County landowner Lloyd Evans, who completed a tree-planting project on his farm near Bluefield, Virginia during the week of Thanksgiving. Read more…

Upcoming events:

In addition:

SHARP Logger Program’s FREE on-line classes for landowners, natural resource professionals and loggers:

o Protecting Water Quality with Best Management Practices in Virginia

o Laws Affecting Water Quality and Forestry Operations in Virginia

These 30-minute training presentations qualify for 0.5 SAF Category 1 CFE Credits each. Stay tuned for MANY more on-line topics in the coming year.

· The Virginia Forest Landowner Update website has been updated – visit for publications, links, events, short course and field tour information, and more!

· The Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program is on Facebook. Become a fan by visiting and searching for Virginia Forest Landowner Education. Read news articles, post comments, view field tour photos, and share your photos, videos and forest stories.

· The Virginia Department of Forestry’s 2009 State of the Forest is now available. This publication is full of information about Virginia’s forested lands.

What's so important about this climate bill anyway?

Last week, Chuck Leavell, American Forest Foundation board member, family woodland owner and keyboard player for the Rolling Stones placed an op-ed on CNN's website about America's forests and climate change. It was a great article; Chuck has been a friend and advocate for AFF and family forests for many years.
But, with all the talk about healthcare in Congress, somehow climate change has gotten lost in the shuffle! We can't let that happen. As woodland owners, you recognize the value of America's forests. And they have a special value to all of us-a cost effective way to reduce our carbon emissions.
What's so important about this climate bill anyway? Climate legislation could be of benefit to both woodland owners and the environment-if woodland owners actively talk to their members of Congress so it is structured right. How could climate legislation benefit woodland owners?
  • New income streams through carbon credit markets: if structured appropriately, family woodland owners could see new income opportunities, if they choose to sell the carbon sequestered and stored in their forests, to emitters who will need to purchase "carbon credits" to offset their emissions.
  • New financial incentives for sustainable forest management: if a landowner is not interested in carbon markets, or for some reason cannot participate, climate legislation could also provide other financial incentives, similar to traditional landowner cost-share programs, for sustainable management that takes carbon out of the air.
  • Resources to help you adapt your woodland management in a changing climate: with a changing climate, our woods will change in significant ways-tree species ranges will shift and we'll likely see increases in fires and pests along with other forest health concerns. Climate legislation could provide the tools and science needed so we can keep our woodlands healthy.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that we can offset as much as 20% of annual U.S. emissions right here in our backyards. And with America's over 10 million family woodland owners, who own most of the private woodlands in the U.S., your woodlands can contribute significantly to reducing the nation's greenhouse gas emissions with enhanced sequestration and storage of carbon in our woods.

Changes coming to MD's R&S Control Standards

the 2005 Draft document titled, "Maryland's Erosion and Sediment Control Standards and Specification for Forest Harvest Operations" are going to be finalized by MDE in 2010. They will be Appendix A in the 2010 Standards and Specifications for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control (thelarger document for construction activities).

The Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations are also being revised as part of this process.

Links are:
Draft *2010 Maryland Standards and Specifications for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control*

Draft Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations (i.e., COMAR 26.17.01)
Proposed Changes

Draft 2005 Forest Harvest Standards and Specs: