Monday, April 15, 2013


     This blog is an exploration of what forests mean to the lives we want to be living-- what threats forests face, what changes they are undergoing, and what the outcome of those changes seems likely to be.  My hope is that it will be a place where news about forests in this region, your ideas and articles on forest topics, and resources for learning about trees and forests in this area can all come together in one place.  Your thoughts, contributions, comments, and photos are not only welcome but strongly encouraged!

     The blog contains sections from a book I've been working on of the same name.  Feel free to ignore it, if you wish.  Drafts of several chapters are listed on the right hand side of the blog, under "Pages," and can be accessed by clicking on the title of the section you want to read.   You can skip clicking on the "Necessary Forests" page, since that is the Home page that you're reading right now.

     I've posted the chapters with the hope that you will offer your suggestions, criticisms, and corrections.  My hide is reasonably thick, and I'm interested in anything that might help me make improvements.  Nitpick my grammar, challenge my assertions, ask for more evidence, suggest new lines of thought, critique structure--fire away!  You can either post in the comment section or e-mail me directly at

      Also on the right is a set of links to various tree- and forest-related websites.  I'll be adding to that as time permits.  The two links at the bottom are totally unrelated blogs of mine, for anyone interested.  The Live Poets Society is a Charlottesville group that has been around since the 1980s, and each week I try to add a new poem by one of our local poets.  The other blog, Of Principalities and Powers, is a semi-regular series of weekly columns on social-political topics--written with a light touch, I hope, but my left-handedness is readily apparent. 

     Unless noted otherwise in a caption, photos in the blog are my own work.
Many thanks,

Tony Russell 

Secluded Farm; October 31, 2011

Brown Bag Lunch talk by Virginia Department of Forestry official

People concerned about deforestation in Virginia and elsewhere might be interested in a presentation at the Rivanna Conservation Society’s monthly Brown Bag Lunch Discussion Forum this Thursday.   Brown Bag Lunches are held at the downtown library in Charlottesville, 201 E. Market St., on the third Thursday of each month.  They begin at noon, and last an hour.  They also count as Advanced Training for Master Naturalists.

Robbi Savage, RCS’s director, sent the following information about the topic and speaker:

TOPIC:  VA Department of Forestry’s new initiative to Mitigate Forest Loss

Virginia has been losing 16,000 acres of forestland to conversion annually and the U.S. Forest Service estimates that suburban encroachment alone will lead to 12 million acres of southern forests being converted to development between 1992 and 2020.  The economic and ecosystem services impact of this loss is significant and the Virginia Department of Forestry, joined by South Carolina and Georgia, is leading an initiative to mitigate forest loss and reduce the rate of forest conversion in the Commonwealth. 

ABOUT OUR SPEAKER: Greg Evans recently joined the Department of Forestry as the Voluntary Mitigation Program manager responsible for developing the program which will also serve as a model for other southern states to follow.  Greg came to the Department of Forestry following a diverse career in the federal government (including the White House) and the private consulting industry where he focused on complex environmental policy and management challenges.  He has also been very active in Virginia serving in various elected and appointed natural resource and conservation related capacities at the local, regional and state.  Greg also served on the grants decision board for the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund.