Friday, June 29, 2012

Rob Farrell Named Deputy State Forester

Rob Farrell is now Virginia's Deputy State Forester.
Rob Farrell
A 12-year-veteran of the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has been chosen to lead the agency’s operational efforts. Rob Farrell is responsible for overseeing the agency’s three operational regions, as well as the forest resource management, state lands, forestland conservation and resource protection programs.

Farrell, who has served as assistant director for forestland conservation for the past five years, joined VDOF in 2000 as an area forester in Gloucester County. Farrell replaces John Carroll, who retired as VDOF’s Deputy State Forester in May after 34 years of service.

“It is an honor to serve the VDOF in this role,” said Farrell. “These are challenging and exciting times for the agency and for the forest resource in Virginia.”

State Forester Carl Garrison said, “We’re very fortunate to have Rob lead our operations across the agency. He’s a knowledgeable forester who brings strong leadership skills and a dedicated work ethic. He is committed to protecting and serving the citizens of Virginia.”

Farrell is an ISA Certified Arborist and urban forester and serves on the Albemarle County Acquisition of Conservation Easements (ACE) committee. A Virginia native, he received two degrees from Virginia Tech - - a B.S. in Forestry and Wildlife and an M.S. in Forestry and Forest Products. He and his family enjoy downhill skiing and other outdoor activities, including camping and canoeing. A resident of Albemarle County, he is married and has two sons.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Expands into Southside Virginia

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has expanded the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine to include the counties of Charlotte, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, and Pittsylvania and the city of Danville. This action occurred because the EAB was detected in or near these localities. Localities that were previously quarantined include Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park and Winchester.

The quarantine restricts the movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas to non-quarantined areas. The regulated articles, which include ash trees, green (non-heat treated) ash lumber and ash wood products, as well as hardwood firewood, pose a significant risk of transporting EAB. Regulated articles may move freely within quarantined areas.

EAB is a highly destructive, invasive beetle that has already killed millions of ash trees in the U.S. and Canada. The adult emerald ash borer is metallic green in color and about one-half inch long and one-eighth inch wide. The adult female deposits eggs on the bark of ash trees. The EAB eggs hatch into larvae which chew their way into the soft layer of wood beneath the bark, disrupting the trees’ vascular system and cutting off the flow of water and nutrients. EAB in the larval stage are difficult to detect as they feed under the tree bark which enables EAB to hitch a ride to new areas when people transport firewood or other infested wood products.

For additional information about the Emerald Ash Borer and actions taken to combat its spread, call VDACS Office of Plant Industry Services at 804.786.3515.