The forest establishment portion of the initiative provides a one time payment to rural landowners in the Rivanna River Basin to plant seedlings on open fields. The payment includes a 20 year land rental payment, project maintenance payment, and reimbursement of reasonable planting costs, such as livestock fencing. Interested landowners must enter into a 20 year contract with the Virginia Department of Forestry.
In July of 2010, a bidding process was employed to enroll planting projects. After the bidding process was closed, funds still remain available for forest establishment. These funds will be allocated through a continuous sign-up process on a first-come, first-served basis beginning October 1, 2010.
Step 1: Determine if your location is within the Rivanna River Basin
Use the map below to identify the approximate location of your property in the Rivanna River Basin Basin of Central Virginia. This basin (also called a watershed) is found on the east slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains and encompasses the City of Charlottesville and most of the Counties of Albemarle and Greene. The red line shows the boundary of the basin. If a property falls within this area, the landowner would be eligible for the F2F program (assuming other eligibility requirements are met).
Step 2: Determine if your location is also within the South Fork Rivanna River Sub-basin
Use the map below to determine if your property is also located within the South Fork Rivanna River Sub-basin. The blue line shows this portion of the Rivanna Basin. Projects within a portion of the South Fork Rivanna River Sub-basin may have greater potential for sediment reduction and therefore may be eligible for a higher land rental payment of $847 per acre. Projects that fall within other areas of the South Fork Rivanna River Sub-basin or outside of the Sub-basin but still within the Rivanna River Basin, contain less potential for sediment reduction and are eligible for a land rental payment of $636 per acre. It is important to note that these payments represent the Net Present Value of the 20 year contract. It is also important to note that the reimbursement of reasonable planting costs and the planting maintenance payment will be in addition to this land rental payment.
Step 3: Contact the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF)
Contact David Powell, Assistant Regional Forester for the VDOF, at 434-220-9179 to request a field visit and additional information on the program. During the field visit, landowners will have a chance to better understand the program requirements and potential eligibility. As a result of the planting site examination, landowners will receive information an assistance on the following: estimate of total project acreage, recommended tree species, planting density, site preparation, and maintenance practices, estimated total payment, financial eligibility determination, explanation of contractual obligations (replanting, maintenance, livestock exclusion, transfer of ownership, etc.), and completion of the Application for Funding Contract
Step 3: Forest Establishment Process
Once a successful Application for Funding Contract (F2F Contract and Procedures) has been approved by the VDOF, the landowner will be advised on ordering seedlings, securing planting labor, necessary site preparation and any other issues related to having the project area planted in Spring of 2011. Sometime between January and early April, the actual tree planting will occur.
Step 4: Receive payment
Upon successfully completing the planting project, a VDOF forester will verify that the work was satisfactorily completed and payment will be made.
Step 5: Replanting
One attempt at replanting is required if a survival reinspection made after year 1 for pines and year 2 for hardwoods demonstrate that an insufficient number of seedlings are present to develop into a forest stand. After the one required replanting attempt, if needed, the planting site can be left to grow and develop through natural regeneration. If desired, landowners may voluntarily replant during the life of the 20 year contract. However, only one attempt at replanting will be required.