Heavy hardwood timber makes for lovely walks and horseback rides. It's a joy to inspect forest and to plan for its growth and sustainability - especially in the autumn with the trees in full color. A long term forest stewardship plan in consultation with your professional consulting foresters, is a good thing to have.
Our Forests are changing! Tom Dierauf is a distinguished, now retired, Virgina State Forester and has has great influence on the daily management of our forests. His comments at this link are absolutely worth reading, almost before reading anything else.
The Audubon Magazine published an interesting article (May 2007) which discusses the Virginia Whitetail deer and its impact on our forests.
But, if you simply want to enjoy beautiful trees...please see the Remarkable Trees of Virginia
project. We were really happy to help publish that beautiful book.
Before we started the Ballyshannon Fund, along with 60,000 other private forest owners, we were long-time members of the
American Tree Farm System, the oldest certifier of sustainable forests in the United States, and we are interested in the
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program that continues to evolve here in Virginia. That initiative encourages - and we tried to follow - forest management practices that are economically and environmentally responsible and that maintain and improve long-term forest health and productivity.
Working with Ches Goodall, our consulting forester, we prioritized our management goals so that long term healthy forest growth came first, followed by - in order - natural resource protection, aesthetic considerations, and then income. Not everyone would agree as to whether that was so smart, but we thought it a wise use of our forest resources.
We have also been involved with the
Forestry Committee at James Madison's home "Montpelier", which has a large productive forest used in many different ways. A fascinating forest management problem, discussed in detail here, and a new Demonstration Forest Trail we helped them build.
Here's the new wildlife meadow in full bloom for the first time. Come, take a walk...with a guide or all alone...at Montpelier.