Virginia Department of Forestry

Roanoke, VA USA

Hi Everyone,

    Last Saturday my sister Harriet and I drove to Philadelphia to visit my nephew Andrew, our friend Harriet G and our cousin Naomi in Manhattan.  It was two full days of driving and two full days of visiting but really glad we went.  I took lots of photos, but never enough.  I’ll write it up next after this quick email about our “land story” and the helpfulness of the Virginia Department of Forestry. Virginia Department of Forestry


Randal contacted the Forestry Office in Salem to help us make the best decision concerning the trees that needed to be cleared for the driveway and house.  It’s one of the many services they provide insuring we have not only sustainable forests, but also ground water, wildlife habitat, etc.   Years ago back in my library days there was the annual leave identification project assigned by just about every school in the valley. I can’t remember what grade but every student had to do it.  Thanks to a wonderful library patron Charlie Blankenship and one of our reference staff Becky Woodhouse, we developed a partnership with the forestry office.  They supplied us with copies of their tree identification booklets and we sold them to the students making it easier for everyone.  The library had bought several booklets for loan but most students wanted their own copies.  Charlie, Roanoke County, the Forestry Office, and I worked together for a grant to buy engraved identification stakes to create a tree walk behind the library. We labeled about a dozen trees which was about the number the students needed to identify.  They could then look up the information in the forestry booklet.  One of the foresters, Bob Boren I believe, and Spencer Watts, then Library Director spent two days cementing the identification stakes into the ground.  

Western Regional Office.

The mission of the Virginia Department of Forestry is “We Protect and Develop Healthy, Sustainable Forest Resources for Virginians.” The Department is dedicated to the Stewardship management of the forest resource by providing the services necessary to manage and protect the 15 million acres of timberland in Virginia. This timberland supports one of the largest industries in the Commonwealth.

The Department of Forestry offers a variety of services to private landowners to assist them in the management of their timberland. Private landowners interested in the management of their timberland and the Department of Forestry Stewardship Program should contact one of the six Regional Offices located throughout the state or the office of the State Forester in Charlottesville.


The Western Regional Office on Riverland Road off Apperson in Salem.

We met Denny here and then drove up to our land.

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Fire danger sign at the office and then on the forestry truck parked in our future driveway.


Randal showing Denny McCarthy, Senior Area Forester,  the proposed route of the driveway created by the engineering firm Randal is working with. Eventually everything must  be approved by the Roanoke County Engineering Department.   Neighboring houses just across from the driveway entrance.


Learning about our trees from Denny

Much of the beautiful fall foliage has turned to fallen brown leaves.


Newest editions is the online PDF version but for $5.00 you get both books which is a bargain!

We bought a copy of each and as Denny pointed out a tree species I marked it off on tree list pages: Blackgum, Chestnut Oak, Red Maple, Sourwood, Table Mountain Pine, Virginia Pine, and Yellow Pine.  It will take me a good deal of studying to know which is which but  that will be the fun part.  The Forestry Office offers a  40 hour master forester course which Randal and I will probably both take at some point.

After our session with Denny, Randal and I had a quick lunch at the Omelet Shop and then it was off for the hour’s drive to Rich Creek, VA to Auto Express.  Not to look at cars, but to look at crawler-loaders for clearing the land for the driveway and the house lot. 


Some were too big and some were too small. 

We’re not in the market just this second, but when we return to Roanoke next year, it will be tops on Randal’s list of essentials. 


He already looks the part, doesn’t he!

Randal really wants to clear the land himself.  From our boating years I’ve come to believe that Randal can do just about anything he sets his mind to do.  Randal wants to do as much of it as he can because he likes the process as much as the end product.  I just want to live in our new home before I’m too ancient to enjoy the walk to the mailbox!