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Forest Health Highlights - 1999

Virginia


The Virginia Department of Forestry provides forest health protection assistance to state and private land managers within the Commonwealth.  Virginia and the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection unit fund this program cooperatively.

Virginia Forest TypesVirginia Forest Facts

*  Over 66% of Virginia is forested (more than 16 million acres).

*  Almost 85% of forested acreage in Virginia is privately owned. 

*  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.

*  Gypsy moth defoliation started to affect Virginia’s hardwood forests in 1984 and became an increasingly serious problem over the next decade.  However, since 1996 an introduced fungal disease decimated gypsy moth caterpillars and defoliation has been so light that it could not be mapped. 

*  Virginia participates with the USDA Forest Service in a project to slow the rate at which the gypsy moth spreads into new areas.  It has been demonstrated that this can be accomplished in a cost effective manner using current technology.

*  Southern pine beetle (SPB) infestations were at very low levels in 1999. Cooperative state-federal monitoring programs help ensure that personnel and budgets are prepared to deal with predicted outbreaks.  The outlook for 2000 is for relatively low populations.

*  Severe, summer drought in 1998 and 1999 contributed to increasing pine mortality from infestations of pine engraver and black turpentine beetles, and to the decline of mountain hardwoods.

*  Oak decline is impacting Virginia’s upland hardwood forests.  Casual factors are stressors such as tree age, 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.

*  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.

*  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 assess forest health conditions.


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.  This partnership has worked for more than 30 years 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/eradication projects and the George Washington/Jefferson National Forests pest suppression projects, 1997-2000.

1997

1998

1999

2000

Cooperative Forest Health Program

68,607

68,607

68,607

68,607

   Forest Health Monitoring

62,000

62,000

62,000

62,000

Cooperative Suppression

  Southern pine beetle

8,000

8,000

8,000

12,000

  Gypsy moth suppression

 267,300

205,000

110,000

103,000

  Gypsy moth eradication

52,000

0

0

0

  Slow-the-Spread (gypsy moth)

590,686

552,000

536,000

570,799

George Washington/Jefferson

   National Forests

  Gypsy moth suppression

131,500

126,500

0

0

  Slow- the-Spread (gypsy moth)

55,197

48,500

48,500

48,500

  Hemlock woolly adelgid

40,000

30,000

46,000

46,000

 

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
E-mail: tignert@hq.forestry.state.va.us     (828) 257-4320
http://state.vipnet.org/dof/index.html     E-mail: Asheville Field Office
    http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/foresthealth