Virginia's Appalachian forests have been harvested numerous times, yet many of the harvests are not carried out sustainably, particularly on privately held lands. To help land managers and owners improve harvesting techniques, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, and the Virginia Department of Forestry will host a workshop on "Restoring Appalachian Woodlands."

One harvesting technique, called high grading, involves repeatedly harvesting only the best trees and leaving the worst. This all-too-common practice degrades ecological sustainability, wildlife habitat, and wood quality. Woodlands can provide a perpetual return on investment, but high grading can quickly diminish this return. Experts from the College of Natural Resources and Virginia Department of Forestry will discuss high grading and what landowners and land managers can do to reverse the effects of this improper management practice.

The workshop will take place at the Days Inn in Raphine on May 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a 8:30 a.m. check in. An afternoon field tour to the Shenandoah Valley Agriculture Research and Extension Center (the site of McCormick Farm) in Steeles Tavern will show on-the-ground examples of what is being done to reverse the effects of high grading. To register, contact Matt Yancey at (540) 564-3080; registration is $20.

The workshop is made possible with support from the Virginia Tree Farm Committee and the Virginia Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee.

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