[ FHP Southern Region ]

Forest Health Highlights 1997

Virginia

The Virginia Department of Forestry provides forest health protection assistance to state and private land managers within the State. This program is funded cooperatively by the State and the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection unit.


VA Forest Type Distribution
Virginia Forest Facts

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Over 66% of Virginia is forested (more than 15.2 million acres).

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Almost 85% of forested acreage in Virginia is privately owned.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests (1.4 million acres) provide recreational and wildlife benefits as well as timber products and jobs for thousands of people.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Gypsy moth defoliation started to affect Virginia's hardwood forests in 1984 and became an increasingly serious problem on the next decade. However, an introduced fungal disease decimated gypsy moth caterpillars in 1996 and defoliation was so light that it could not be mapped. The same was true in 1997 and little defoliation is expected in l998.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Since 1993, Virginia has participated with the USDA Forest Service in a pilot project to demonstrate that the rate at which the gypsy moth spreads into new areas could be reduced in a cost effective manner using current technology. Several intervention projects have taken place within the state over the past 4 years and the results indicate that the rate of spread of the gypsy moth can be slowed by 60%.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Southern pine beetle (SPB) infestations were at low levels in 1997. This cyclic insect sometimes kills millions of board feet in timber statewide. Cooperative state-federal monitoring programs help ensure that personnel and budgets are prepared to deal with predicted outbreaks. The outlook for 1998 is for relatively low populations.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Oak decline is impacting Virginia's upland hardwood forests. Casual factors are stressors such as drought, frost, and defoliation by insects, and root disease. Oak decline and gypsy moth defoliation often overlap and that leads to higher levels of oak mortality.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)The hemlock woolly adelgid was first reported in Virginia in 1950. This insect has now spread across most of the State infesting and killing eastern hemlock. State and federal officials are investigating both chemical and biological control methods for limiting the impact of the adelgid in high value areas.

blbullet.gif (864 bytes)Virginia is actively participating in a national Forest Health Monitoring program. Through a network of 100 forested plots and regularly scheduled surveys, the Department of Forestry annually collects and interprets a wide variety of data to estimate current health of the forest.

 

The Virginia Department of Forestry
and USDA Forest Service

In spite of the relatively good health of Virginia's forests, a variety of insects and diseases (both native and introduced), and human-caused impacts such as air pollution, continue to threaten the State's resources. To deal with this constantly changing mix of challenges, the Virginia Department of

Forestry and the Forest Health Protection unit of the USDA Forest Service cooperate to prevent, detect, suppress and manage this multitude of threats. The partnership between the two agencies has worked for three decades to maintain and improve the health of Virginia's forests.


Forest Health Protection contributions (dollars) to the Virginia Department of Forestry Cooperative Forest Health Program, cooperative pest suppression projects and National Forests in Virginia pest suppression projects, 1995-98.

1995

1996

1997

1998

Cooperative Forest Health Program

64,557

68,607

68,607

68,607

Forest Health Monitoring

62,000

62,000

62,000

62,000

Cooperative Suppression
southern pine beetle

0

10,000

10,000

8,000

gypsy moth suppression

1,100,296

651,949

292,300

267,000

gypsy moth eradication

0

0

52,000

0
Slow-the-Spread (gypsy moth)

1,004,565

584,484 590,686 672,500
George Washington/Jefferson
National Forests
gypsy moth

231,351

100,963

131,500

126,500

Slow- the-Spread (gypsy moth)

101,375

293,570

55,197

30,000
hemlock woolly adelgid

4,564

40,200

40,000

34,000

 

For additional information, contact

Virginia Department of Forestry
(or)
USDA Forest Service
P.O. Box 3758
Forest Health Protection
Charlottesville, VA 22903-0758
P.O. Box 2680
(804) 977-6555
Asheville, NC 28802-2680
(828) 257-4320