Wildlife Habitat Management for Small Acreage Landowners workshop being offered


A workshop being offered in Bath County will help landowners learn how to create habitat that is beneficial to wildlife and beneficial in other ways too.  The program will cover a wide range of land management topics as well as wildlife updates. 

John Wright will be one of the speakers.  He’s the Area Forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry.

“It’s for everybody that just enjoys the outdoors and wildlife,” says Wright.  “Very similar types of discussions about the invasive plants take place all over the state of Virginia.  And so farmers are going to be helped, I believe, by attending this little workshop.”

Wayne Anderson is holding the workshop at his farm in Millboro.

“It’s the Wildlife Habitat Management for Small Acreage Landowners,” says Anderson.  “And it will give them hands-on, kind of a show and tell for how to do wildlife plots, how to be successful, how not to be successful.  And they’ll actually see plots that’ve been planted and they’ll see us planting plots while we’re there.”

“These little small food plots allow the wildlife to find the proper nutrients and nutrition,” says Wright.  “And so those animals are in better shape and, of course, the reproduction is better and so the wildlife populations benefit from having a good, steady food source.  And that’s what our workshop’s really all about.  To help landowners understand what’s necessary, how to go about preparing a food plot.  What we’re going to show them is that a half an acre to three quarters of an acre with a food plot can be extremely beneficial at crucial times during the fall and winter.”

Topics covered at the workshop will include invasive plants, predators, food plots, pond management and forest management for wildlife habitat improvement.  And there will be a report on the area’s wildlife population status including disease, habitat and more.  

“Some of the speakers include Al Bourgeois, who’s the District Wildlife Biologist, Paul Bugas is the Aquatics Manager for the Game Department, Adam Downing is a Natural Forestry and Extension Specialist for the Virginia Cooperative Extension and then, of course, Rodney Leech and Matt Booher are also Extension Agents,” says Wright.  “And Matt is a Forages Specialist for the Virginia Cooperative Extension and, then myself, I’m going to wrap up the evening talking about forest and the wildlife habitat needs of just forest.”

“And we also will be showing how to manage cold water ponds and warm water ponds and stream management,” says Anderson.  “You’ll have great management there of how to control unnecessary weeds without damaging the water system, that’s very important.  The small stream management, same principal, because everything you put on your property goes downstream, so what might be good for you just may not be good for your neighbors.  And you’ll be able to get hands-on questions and hands-on demonstration of what’s good and what’s not good.”

The Wildlife Habitat Management for Small Acreage Landowners workshop is Thursday, August 7 from 3:30 until dark.  It will be held at Serenity Springs Farm on Mill Creek Road in Millboro.  Registration fee is $15 which includes dinner.  You must pre-register through the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office in Bath County by Monday, August 4.  The phone number is 540-839-7261.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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