Virginia’s forests, 2011
Between 2007 and 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program conducted the ninth inventory of the forests of Virginia. About 15.9 million acres, or 62 percent, of Virginia was forested. The majority (13.0 million acres) of Virginia’s forest land was in private forest ownership. Public ownership accounted for 2.9 million acres (18 percent). Red maple dominated the number of live stems (≥1.0 inch diameter at breast height) with 1.4 billion stems (12 percent of total). Loblolly pine was second, with 1.2 billion live stems. Yellow-poplar was the most dominant species for live-tree volume with 5.6 billion cubic feet (15.8 percent of total), but as a genus, oaks accounted for 32 percent of the live-tree volume (11.4 billion cubic feet). Biomass of coarse woody debris on forest health plots averaged 3.3 tons per acre for the State. The amount of carbon in coarse woody debris and fine woody debris averaged 1.7 and 1.1 tons per acre, respectively. The Forest Service’s FIA is the only program that conducts forest assessments across all land in the United States. Increasing demands on the resource and anthropogenic-related impacts on forests have intensified the need to conduct ecosystem-based inventories such as these.