Members of the State Park’s resource management staff recently attended the 20th annual Virginia Association of Forest Health Professionals Conference in Staunton. The meeting was held Feb. 6 – 7 at the historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel.
The two-day conference included over 20 speakers who discussed topics such as: the biology of invasive trees; American chestnut restoration; biological control of hemlock wooly adelgid; updates on invasive insects and disease threatening Virginia trees; safe use of pesticides; Virginia’s natural heritage resources; and more.
Photo from left to right: Al Cire (Resource Specialist - Shenandoah Valley.); Theresa Duffey (Natural and Cultural Resources Manager); Reed Stanley (Resource Specialist – Southern VA); Forrest Atwood (Resource Specialist – Southwest VA.); Irene Frentz (Resource Specialist – Central VA and VAFHP Secretary); Ian Treggett (VAFHP Treasurer); Erik Molleen (Resource Specialist – Coastal, VA)
State Park’s Natural and Cultural Resources Manager, Theresa Duffey, said, “It is important for our staff to attend conferences such as these, which provide an open forum for discussing forest health issues and forest management with other land management agencies. It is our forests that often make State Parks such wonderful places to visit.” Currently Virginia has 39 State Parks, which encompass over 72,000 acres.
The Virginia Association of Forest Health Professionals formed in 1991 at the height of the gypsy moth outbreak in Virginia. The organization recognized the need for information exchange between the state and local coordinators who were administering gypsy moth spray programs. At that time, the group was known at the Association of Virginia Gypsy Moth Managers. In 2007, the name was changed in order to better reflect our broader concerns with other invasive species affecting the Eastern forests.