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Fall Forestry & Wildlife Field Tour

October 20, 2023 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Come learn about Warren County’s strategic location of land and water trade routes has made it a happening place for thousands of years beginning with the Native Americans. While every county in Virginia is historic, only one can boast that the oldest known permanent habitations in the eastern United States are located here, along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.  

  • Warren County
  • $45/person; $80/couple

Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Samuels Public Library 330 East Criser Road Front Royal, VA 22630. Tour begins promptly at 9:00 a.m.

Stop 1:  Wildlife Corridors and 7 Generations Farming With the Shenandoah National Park behind us, overlooking the South Fork onto the George Washington National Forest before us, we’ll experience the wit and will to connect these large forested tracts for the sake of wildlife travel and maintaining vast open-space for public and private good.  The Stinson tract is a 7th generation farm of 337 conserved acres connected to other protected private lands, collectively forming the Overall Corridor, an invaluable resource and fascinating story.

Stop 2.  Izaak Walton League of America’s Warren County Chapter An early pioneer in conservation and management of natural resources, the namesake, organization and the local chapter continue to champion conservation and provide opportunities for young and old alike. The organization’s local chapter is located on a 19th century farm in beautiful Browntown, VA.  We will walk the grounds while discussing pond management, edge habitat, youth development and more concluding with a lunch of traditional favorites in the old farm house.

Stop 3:  Small Woodlots & Valuable Hardwoods Much of Virginia’s valuable timber is in small hardwood stands.  This 25-acre tract is typical of many in history and composition with a landowner wanting to do good.  We’ll take a deep dive into hardwood silviculture by walking through the new Hardwood Assessment Tool (HAT) developed by Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Forestry. And wildlife is always part of the discussion, even when we’re trying to grow valuable timber… hear again how compatible they are and sources of landowner assistance to make good forest stewardship happen.

Stop 4.  Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute What’s behind the tall fenced-in property on 3000+ acres of a former US Army Cavalry Remount Station just south of Front Royal?  Well, there is a lot, but perhaps the most unique project with applicability for landowners is one of the oldest and largest deer exclosures in the region.  It helps us answer the question, “what would our forest look like with less deer?”  The world renown researcher Bill McShea will share his latest science on the ecological impacts of deer. This is a rare opportunity, don’t miss it!

For more information, contact Adam Downing, adowning@vt.edu, 540-948-6881. Please register by 4 p.m. Friday October 6. 


October 20, 2023
8:30 am - 4:30 pm


Samuels Public Library
330 East Criser Road
Front Royal, VA 22630
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