Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program, in collaboration with the Tidewater Resource and Development Council and other partners, will hold a short course on Saturday, Feb. 6 in Gloucester, Va., for landowners interested in sustainably harvesting and marketing their timber.

Nearly 65 percent of Virginia’s forests are owned by non-industrial private landowners, and timber is one of the important resources forests provide. When conducted properly, timber harvesting can promote healthy, vigorous forests and offer a source of income for landowners. “Since most landowners only harvest their timber once or twice during their lifetime, many are not familiar with the process,” said Jennifer Gagnon, coordinator of the Virginia Forest Landowner Program in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources.

The Sustainable Timber Harvesting and Marketing short course, part of the Forest Landowner Short Course Series, reviews the basic principles of sustainable forest management and walks participants through the steps to have a sustainable and successful timber sale. Topics covered include establishing land management objectives, determining the quantity of timber on site, forest regeneration systems, water quality, wildlife and aesthetic issues, the timber sale process, dealing with taxes and estate planning, and a short lesson on timber cruising. A short outdoor field session is planned, weather permitting.

The course will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Whitcomb Lodge in Beaverdam Park in Gloucester, Va. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. The registration fee of $40 per person or $50 per couple includes lunch, refreshments, and a notebook of reference materials. Pre-registration is required one week in advance of the course date.