In 1961, when Mrs. Segar White Guy inherited her father’s 306-acre tract of unmanaged forestland in Sussex County, she made the long-term commitment to improve the quality of the woodland. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and Consulting Forester Hunter Darden developed a Forest Stewardship Management Plan that eventually led the family to prosperity and a healthy forest.
years and several forest management awards later, the timber on the land was
both healthy and profitable for the Guy family. Cash from timber and pulpwood
sales supported the family quite well, even covering the cost of their daughter
Judi’s college tuition. In late 2010, however, the Guys learned Segar had
pancreatic cancer, and, subsequently, the family decided it needed to protect
their greatest family heirloom – the forestland.
Like the Guy family, many Virginia forest landowners face the issue of how
they will pass their land down to the next generation. Private owners hold 13
million acres of Virginia’s forestland; landowners age 55 or older own seven
million acres of that. With the decisions made today, these landowners will
either protect our farms and forests or convert to them to other uses. For some
families, perpetual protection from development provided by a conservation
easement with VDOF is the answer.
Segar’s goal was to keep the land in the family and pass it on to the next
Daughter Judi Guy said, “My mother wanted the land to go into conservation
easement because of the feature of perpetuity for the land being used for
sustainable forestry management using Best Management Practices. The tax
benefits were of secondary concern to her.”
John Guy, Segar’s husband of 56 years, said, “Segar had a deep love of the
land. She became actively involved with many forestry organizations that helped
her become a good steward to the land.”
After 50 years of working with VDOF, Darden, the Virginia Forest Education
Foundation (VFEF) and the Virginia Forestry Association (VFA), Segar’s vision of
good forest management came to fruition by becoming certified under Virginia’s
Forest Stewardship Program.
After several months of work, the Guys, their attorney Lee Stephens and VDOF
Forestland Conservation Specialist Rob Suydam recorded the conservation easement
on April 3, 2013 – nearly two years to the date of Segar’s passing.
Judi said, “This was such great news. The irony is it was two years ago we
lost Mom. The timing could not have been more meaningful to me.”
2017 Chapter Annual Meeting
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