Friday, September 16, 2011

VDOF Names Toni Noreika New Regional Forester in Eastern Virginia

A 26-year-veteran of the Virginia Department of Forestry has been chosen to lead agency’s Eastern Region – a 30-county area that extends from the Eastern Shore to Brunswick County up to King George County.

Toni Noreika, most recently an assistant regional forester in the agency’s Waverly office, was selected from a competitive pool of external and internal applicants and becomes the first woman to be a regional forester in the agency’s 97-year history. A resident of Suffolk, Noreika has held a number of increasingly responsible positions since joining VDOF in 1985, and she’s looking forward to the new job’s opportunities and challenges.

“I’ve worked as a county forester in Isle of Wight, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Norfolk,” Noreika said. “And for the last 11 years, I’ve been managing the agency’s employees and resources in 10 counties. I’m honored to be working with a great group of people, and am excited to be part of the leadership group that will continue to move the Department of Forestry forward.”

State Forester Carl Garrison said, “We’re very fortunate to have Toni as one of our three regional foresters. She’s a strong leader, a knowledgeable forester and a hard worker who is committed to protecting and serving the citizens of Virginia.”

Noreika grew up around the fields and forests of northeastern Pennsylvania and developed a love of the outdoors at an early age. She holds a bachelor’s degree in forest science from Penn State and is the proud parent of two adult daughters.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Workshop for Women Landowners

If you are a woman who owns 10 or more acres of Virginia forestland or farmland; lives in some select counties or cities, and wants to learn more about programs that are available to enhance the productivity of your land, make plans to attend the one of the “Women and Land” workshops. Registration for either workshop, which costs $5 per person, is limited to 40 women landowners.

A workshop in Petersburg will be held September 22nd, and is open to women who live in the counties of Dinwiddie, Chesterfield, Prince George, Sussex or Surry or in the cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights or Hopewell. Registration deadline is Sept. 19, 2011. For more information or to register, contact Heather Dowling at 804.469.7343 or via email at

A workshop in Harrisonburg will be held September 29th, and is open to women who live in the counties of Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah, Augusta, Rockbridge or Frederick or in the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton or Waynesboro. The deadline to register is Sept. 23, 2011. For more information or to register, contact Joe Lehnen at 540.459.3151 or via email at

“This 4.5-hour program is for women and by women,” said Heather Dowling, area forester for the Virginia Department of Forestry in Dinwiddie County. “There are a lot of women in these areas who own forestland and/or farmland but who may not be aware of all the resources and funding sources that are available to help them better manage their land. This workshop will enable women landowners to meet each other, discuss their ideas and challenges in an open and welcoming environment, and hear from women who are experts in the natural resources field.”

The workshop is a cooperative effort of the Virginia Department of Forestry; the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.