The Virginia Forest Economics Model was developed in an effort to map viable forest lands with economic value. Forests play an important role in the ecological and economic health of Virginia. Ecologically, forests in Virginia provide important services which include:
Economically, Virginia forests benefit our citizens as the forests contribute to the economy, individual forest landowners, jobs in the forest product industries and through recreational opportunities. Virginia forests and the forest industry have been estimated to contribute $29.44 billion in benefits (www.dof.virginia.gov).
As development pressure continues across the state, remaining resources are being irretrievably lost to development. "From 2001 to 2004, urban growth and development resulted in an average net loss of 26,100 acres of forest land. If the trend continues, Virginia would lose more than 1 million acres of forest land in the next 25 years" (www.dof.virginia.gov).
The development of a GIS model to delineate where valuable forest land exists may serve as a guide to local government, consultants, and developers as to the location of valuable forest land in Virginia. The model also serves as part of a larger green infrastructure plan, which aims to model where Virginia's conservation priorities are located to facilitate an integrated approach to planning and development. For information on the Virginia Conservation Lands Needs Assessment and the Green Infrastructure Modeling effort, please visit the VCLNA website at www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/vclna.shtml
The forest economics model uses a variety of datasets and subsequent derived datasets from analyses run in GIS. Datasets include:
To access the Virginia Forest Economic Model Technical Report, click here .
Some general categories of uses to which the forest economic model data can be applied include:
Maps will be produced for Coastal Zone, State and each Planning District Commissions is included the final report. The report will be available online and on CD by request and include:
For more information about the Forest Economics Model, please contact Jason Bulluck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-786-8377.
Page last updated 2/11.