There are five mid-conference field trips planned for Wednesday, June 22, 2011
1. Shenandoah Valley. Adam Downing, a Natural Resources Extension Agent with the Virginia Cooperative Extension, will lead a tour of the Shenandoah Valley Research Station. Shenandoah Valley Research Station has several small-scale forestry demonstration areas and was originally part of the McCormick Farm where Cyrus McCormick tested and eventally patented his grain reaper in 1834.
2. Reynolds Forestry Center. Kyle Peer, Superintendent of the Reynolds Homestead Forest Resources Research Center, will lead a tour of the loblolly pine clonal, fertility, and spacing trial research sites at the Center. The tour will also include a visit to the 1843 brick house that was the boyhood home of R.J. Reynolds, the tobacco and aluminum foil manufacturer.
3. Cascades Scenic National Trail. John Peterson, co-author of Woody Plants in North America, will lead a dendrology walk along Little Stony Creek to the 21-m Cascade Falls. This trail is part of the Jefferson National Forest and passes through rhododendron thickets and rich cove forest.
4. Bottom Creek Gorge. Rachel Collins, a forest ecologist from Roanoke College, will host a tour of The Nature Conservancy’s Bottom Creek Gorge. This is the headwaters of the Roanoke River and has a 60 m waterfall, and the preserve was established to protect habitat for five rare plant species.
5. Appomattox- Buckingham State Forest. Gary Heiser, the State Forest Manager for the Virginia Department of Forestry, will host a tour of the 8,014 ha Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest. Most of the land is managed for sustainable timber production and the history is typical of many southeastern publically-owned forest lands: abandonment after heavy agricultural use and conversion to pine plantations. The State Forest surrounds the Appomatttox Court House National Historical Park which was where General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in 1865, which marked the end of the American Civil War.