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News

Save Arlington National Cemetery's Old-Growth Forest

Comment Deadline: April 12, 2013

Arlington National Cemetery is proposing expansion into 28 acres of old-growth woodland, the only remaining remnant of a 600 acre old-growth forest on the original 1,100 acre plantation established in 1802 by George Washington Parke Custis.

Read VAFW Comments
More information (bullet points, summary, contact links)




The Virginia Wilderness Committee, Wild Virginia, and the USDA Forest Service hosted A Celebration of Wilderness.

6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, at the Lyric Theatre, Blacksburg, VA
7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 27, at Martin Chapel of Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Read Press Release | View Event Poster




Groups Challenge Timber Sale Near Lake Keokee

Appeal filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of The Clinch Coalition, the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, Virginia Forest Watch, and Wild South

June 27, 2012: WISE, VA- A proposed timber sale near Lake Keokee in the Jefferson National Forest would cause soil erosion, harm water quality, and degrade mature forest habitat and the significant scenic and recreation values of the area, conservation groups said in an appeal filed with the U.S. Forest Service. The proposed Wells Branch timber sale also violates several federal environmental laws, the appeal claims. The timber sale would involve logging 285 acres of forest and constructing nearly 2.5 miles of new roads. Much of the logging would take place around the popular Keokee Lake Recreation Area.

View the full Press Release | Read Virginia Star July 4 article




Duke and Oregon State Universities' Research Finds Forests More Valuable for Carbon Storage than as Source of Carbon-Neutral Fuel

The study released May 31, 2012 finds that leaving forests intact so they can continue to store carbon dioxide and keep it from re-entering the atmosphere will do more to curb climate change over the next century than cutting and burning their wood as fuel.

“Our results suggest that substituting woody bioenergy for fossil fuels isn’t an effective method for climate change mitigation,” said Stephen R. Mitchell, a research scientist at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Read the full Press Release from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment




Help Save Virginia Tech's Stadium Woods

Send Comments - Tell the Virginia Tech administration that you value the trees! Please send comments to VT Board of Visitors: bov@vt.edu and the building siting committee: apfsec@vt.edu.

More information including sign the petition, background, contacts




Virginia Mountain Treasures: Virginia Forest Watch is pleased to present Virginia Mountain Treasures, a video slideshow celebrating 130 unique wild areas in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. More Details (including how you can schedule a presentation for your group)




Virginia losing one acre of forest every 20 minutes - Virginia Dept. of Forestry releases State of the Forest report: A report released Nov. 9 by the Virginia Department of Forestry indicates decreasing forests in Virginia.

Read Daily News article (includes quotes from VAFW's Jason Woodfin and Bud Watson)
Download VDOF 2010 State of the Forest report




May 2010: VAFW RECEIVES DONATION FROM VIRGINIA BEACH 5TH GRADER - Virginia Forest Watch was recently the recipient of a $220 donation from a 5th grader in Virginia Beach, VA.




March 27, 2009: Virginia Ridge and Valley Act Passes Both Houses of Congress - Bill Protecting 53,000 of the Jefferson National Forest goes to President for Signature - The Virginia Ridge and Valley Act, a wilderness and national scenic area bill that protects 53,000 acres of southwestern Virginia’s most unique wild places, passed the US House of Representatives on Wednesday. Read VAFW Press Release (includes photos)




Jan. 30, 2009: Gone With The Windmills? - Open letter to President Obama about wind turbines and forests from nature writer and VAFW board member Chris Bolgiano.




Dec. 18, 2008: Wood Turtle Makes Top 10 List of Species in Need of Protection - New report highlights nation’s species in danger of extinction - Charlottesville, VA – The wood turtle is one of the most in-need species for protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to a report released today by the Endangered Species Coalition. The report, “Without a Net: Top Ten Wildlife, Fish and Plants in Need of Endangered Species Act Protection,” demonstrates the critical need to reinvigorate the process under the Endangered Species Act used to protect our nation’s species on the brink of extinction. Read VAFW Press Release




Dec. 17, 2008: Conservation Groups Call on the Agriculture Sec. Nominee to Set New Direction for Forest Service; Reverse Bush’s Damaging Legacy in the First 100 Days - President-elect Obama announced today the nomination of former Governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack as the new Secretary of Agriculture. Nearly 100 conservation organizations representing over 1.5 million members and citizens from around the country call on Vilsack to reverse damaging policies promulgated by the Bush administration and set a new course for the U.S. Forest Service. Read VAFW Press Release




Virginia Forest Watch Welcomes Forester To Staff - “We are very pleased to welcome Jason Woodfin to our staff” said VAFW president Jerry Gray of Clintwood, Va. “

Jason Woodfin
Jason Woodfin

Though we have worked with many good foresters in both Virginia and surrounding states over the years we have not been able to actually place a forester on staff until now.”

Jason Woodfin will be directing VAFW’s Private Forest Program and promoting sustainable forest management practices on private lands in Virginia. Read VAFW Press Release




Industrial-scale wind energy facility proposed on high ridges of the George Washington National Forest: Company begins filing initial turbine applications
Read Richmond Times-Dispatch March 25, 2008 article.




Jan. 30, 2008: Sustaining Virginia’s Forests through Forest Certification - Feeling the pressure, landowners seek new markets. New report identifies benefits, barriers.
Read Press Release | View Report




Daily News-Record Sept. 28, 2007 article: Marshall Run area - Plan For Timber Brings Memories Flooding Back. Marshall Run Area’s Residents Concerned. | Steve Krichbaum's Oct. 25, 2007 Letter-to-the-Editor




Kingsport Times/News Sept. 18, 2007 article: Back Valley Timber Sale - Proposed Jefferson National Forest timber sale delayed. Logging operation has been postponed while a district ranger revises an environmental assessment of the project.




Sept. 14, 2007: Forest Service Pulls Timber Sale, Public Calls for Greater Protection of Scott County's Dry Creek Watershed in Next Decision - District Ranger Ron Bush of the Clinch Ranger District has decided to temporarily withdraw the controversial Back Valley Timber Sale while he revises the environmental assessment to address some discrepancies and other areas of concern. | Read Press Release and View Photos




Roanoke Times March 7, 2007 Editorial: Under a new rule on the forests - Roanoke Times Columnist Elizabeth Strother writes about the George Washington NF Plan Revision and the new rules that will guide the process.




A call to protect the forest - an op-ed encouraging public involvement during the George Washington NF Plan Revision written by VAFW's Sherman Bamford. It appeared in the February 25, 2007 Roanoke Times.




The Washington Post February 17 2007 article: Habitat loss, cultural shift add up to fewer Virginia hunters




Feb. 16, 2007: Conservationists call for ecological restoration on the George Washington National Forest - A broad coalition of conservation and forest-protection groups called on the U.S. Forest Service today to focus on protecting clean water, diverse wildlife habitat, old-growth forests and remote, wild areas, as well as prime recreation spots, in updating the long-range management plan for the 1.1 million-acre George Washington National Forest in western Virginia. | Read Press Release




Field & Stream March 2007 article: Unwild America: If the Roadless Rule Doesn't Stand, We'll Soon be out of Wilderness




Feb. 5, 2007: Bush Administration proposes selling of National Forest lands - For the second year in a row, the Bush administration has proposed selling off up to 300,000 acres of national forests and other public land to help pay for rural schools and roads. This is part of President Bush's FY2008 budget. In Virginia, there is a slight drop from 5,718 acres last year to 5,392 acres this year. Three parcels were dropped this time around. Those include 205 acres in Giles County, 121 acres in Roanoke County, and 2 acres in Augusta County.

Please contact your Congressman to oppose this sell off of our public lands!




TCC News: Logging Jobs Closed Down!
Members of The Clinch Coalition (TCC) have been inspecting logging jobs on the Clinch Ranger District. As a result of these inspections, it appears that two loggers have pulled off two separate jobs. More information (including photos), (posted online Jan. 30, 2007)




January 11, 2007: Roanoke Times article: Forest officials set sights on ATVs - A dozen people may face 50 federal charges for illegally riding ATVs on federal land.




August 14, 2006: Richmond Times-Dispatch article Groups Fight Logging - Environmentalists are vowing to continue their fight against logging in the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia despite new U.S. Forest Service rules they say will increase timber cuts. Various environmental groups had filed appeals two years ago to stop proposed land-management plans for five Southern national forests, including the Jefferson, arguing that the Forest Service ignored conservationists' analysis that the plans would allow logging to destroy wildlife habitat and choke pristine streams.




May 26, 2006: Virginia Forest Watch monitoring of Upper Craig logging in Montgomery County reveals logging under wet and muddy conditions.




May 5, 2006: National Forest Lands Could Go Up For Sale The Baltimore Sun article includes quotes from an interview with Virginia Forest Watch's Sherman Bamford.




February 18, 2006: Bush Administration proposes selling of National Forest lands | VAFW's Sherman Bamford's Op-Ed Commentary: "National Forest Land Sell-off is a Mistake" (Added March 16, 2006) | View Maps of National Forest lands up for sale. | Dr. M. Rupert Cutler statement. | Read the Feb. 14, 2006 Roanoke Times Editorial "Give Bush an acre, and he'll take a forest".




December 13, 2005: Runoff causes logging shutdown Lynchburg News & Advance article about Upper Pedlar Timber Sale.




November 16, 2005: Forests: Lumber, Landfill, or Living Legacy? Virginia Forest Watch's Sherman Bamford Op-Ed piece published in the Roanoke Times




Oct. 07, 2005: Forest Service Drops Plan for ATV Trails - New trail system would have unacceptably harmed water resources in the Clinch River watershed. | Read VAFW Press Release




Take Action:
Support the Virginia Ridge & Valley Act of 2005




On September 10, 2005 Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. received the Sierra Club's William O. Douglas Award on behalf of the Waterkeeper Alliance. In his speech at the Sierra Club's National Convention and Expo, Kennedy said, "As the communities that our parents gave us, we've got to start by protecting our environmental infrastructure, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the public lands, the fisheries, the wildlife, the public areas that connect us to our past, that connect us to our history, that provide context to our communities that are the source ultimately of our values and virtues and character as a people."

Read the full transcript of Kennedy's speech




August 24, 2005: Virginia Forest Watch wins appeal on Round Mountain Timber Sale on New River Valley Ranger District.




August 23, 2005: The Clinch Coalition purchases area billboards opposing logging on High Knob in the Clinch Ranger District. (includes photos of billboards) | Kingsport Times-News August 23, 2005 article




July 25, 2005: "And Still They Fall" - A Report on Old Growth Logging in the George Washington National Forest released by Virginia Forest Watch, WildLaw, Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, Wild Virginia and the Sierra Club. The report addresses the failure of the Forest Service to conserve and restore old growth forest communities in the Southeast, highlighting the Hoover Creek Timber Sale as a case study.




Toms Knob Area Threatened by Logging; Virginia Forest Watch & Sierra Club File Appeal




June 16, 2005: Sierra Club and Virginia Forest Watch Press Release: NEW REPORT REVEALS THAT OLD GROWTH FORESTS WERE CUT AT HOOVER CREEK - Sierra Club and Virginia Forest Watch to Lead "Tour de Cut" on Saturday June 18 Highlighting Threats to Old Growth & Roadless Areas in Virginia National Forests




Clinch Coalition Members Look at Logging Job - Request Meeting with Forest Service Officials (Clinch Coalition Press Release April 14, 2005; includes photos)




April 14, 2005: VAFW Press Release: Bad Logging Practices Continue! “Worst Job Ever” Found in Buchanan County (includes photos)




April 6, 2005: Earth Day Concert to Benefit Forest Protection Groups to be held on April 22




May 11, 2005: Heartwood, Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, National Forest Protection Alliance, Indiana Forest Alliance, Buckeye Forest Council, Kentucky Heartwood, Wild Virginia, Virginia Forest Watch Press Release: Citizen Groups File Suit To Enforce Endangered Species Act Against Two Federal Agencies | Complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Western Division




The Fauquier Citizen: Forest friendly Loggers use horses to take worst trees, leave best




"2005: Nature's Crisis" by Dave Foreman




My Mountains, My Hopes




Virginia delegate lauds work of Clinch Coalition




Coalition celebrates seven years




Many Loggers Still Failing to Notify




Landowner Protection Bill Passes




Enviros Decry Voluntary Logging “Rules”




Forest activists protest Bush policies




May 4, 2004: Logging Quality Worsens




April 28, 2004: Groups file multiple appeals of land-use plans for Southern Appalachian national forests - A coalition of conservation groups today challenged U.S. Forest Service plans to increase roadbuilding and commercial logging at the expense of protecting water quality and wild areas on the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia.




Assault Plan For A Forest




The National Forests Belong to the People




Protest Aimed at Greed




EDITORIAL: Healthy forests




Response to Lynchburg N/A Article




BAD PLANNING FOR FORESTS (2 Letters)




Offering the Nation's Resources to the Highest Bidder