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Forest Management Technology

Applied Sciences (AAS) Degree

Code: 328

General Information

The Forest Management Technology program is designed for persons who seek employment in forestry occupations. The program is designed with the fundamental philosophy of delivering classroom instruction coupled with hands-on experience. Students use industry-standard equipment and gain practical experience through summer internships regionally and across the country with organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service, Virginia Department of Forestry and private forestry employers.

The program supports forestry and forest-related industries that are vital to the economy of Virginia, where 60 percent of the total land area is forested. The use of these resources by forest industries and land management agencies requires forest technicians trained in forest management, protection, timber harvesting and utilization.

Graduates of the program will be qualified for positions in forestry, urban tree care and forest products. This program leads to an Associates of Applied Science in Forest Management Technology and has initial accreditation by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). The Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognizes SAF as the specialized accrediting body for forestry education in the United States.

Program Requirements

Forest Management Technology – Degree – Program information sheet


Students may complete the general education classes required in the Forest Management Technology program on the main campus, at the Rockbridge Regional Center in Buena Vista or through other formats offered by the college. It should be noted that all program-specific courses (mainly those with a FOR or GIS prefix) are available only on the main campus in Clifton Forge in a traditional lecture format. Many students take class in one or more DSLCC locations and some also transfer general education requirements from other VCCS colleges. Carpooling to the main campus is encouraged for sharing driving expenses.

DSLCC facilities include classrooms, program-specific lab spaces, computer labs, offices and spaces used for student activities, student support services and a wide variety of resources to support student learning. More specifically, the Forest Management Technology include the Wadill Teaching Lab, an industry-grade sawmill, and the DSLCC campus forest. Students also have class time in the US Forest Service’s National Forest and on private forest lands.

Formats for the delivery of classes are traditional lecture. For the successful completion of most courses, students are expected to attend classes, participate in labs and/or complete assignments that require additional study outside of scheduled class times.

Forest Management Technology courses are offered sequentially in the fall and spring semesters. It is important to discuss academic and career plans with an academic advisor who can assist in the development of a pathway that meets each student’s needs and addresses the scheduling of courses by the college. This will assist the student in achieving their goal of completing all requirements for graduation.

The Waddill Teaching Lab

The Waddill Teaching Lab is a tract of timber spanning two counties in Virginia. It is located in the southeast corner of Alleghany County and in the northern section of Botetourt County in a neighborhood called Wesgate. Wesgate is one-half mile west of the town of Iron Gate. The Waddill Teaching Lab consists of approximately 78.9 acres. It sits at the elevation of 1200 feet above sea level. The property consists of an urban woodlot with an old homestead that is currently uninhabitable.

Landowners, Gary and Carla Kirts experienced the life of living on a small farm, and they found a passion for agriculture and natural resources. This had a significant impact on their professional careers and it directed their educational choice at DSLCC. Their love for agriculture and natural resources was instilled during their formative years on the property and it influenced their studies at the university level. Gary finished his education and taught high school agriculture education for the span of his professional career. Carla continued her education in natural resources and earned her PhD, taught at several universities, and eventually became the Dean of Student Affairs at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Gary and Carla are proud to have donated the use of their property in loving memory of their grandfather to DSLCC as a field lab for forestry students. While the family retains ownership, DSLCC works closely with them to manage the property as a working forest.

Gary and Carla Kirts hope for the Waddill Teaching Lab to be a forum and field laboratory in which forestry practices can be conducted. They have generously given the use of the property exclusively to the DSLCC Forestry Technology program. Students use the land for many forestry courses, including dendrology, forest measurements, silviculture, and timber harvesting.

DSLCC Students have inventoried the Waddill Teaching Lab and prepared a forest management plan in the Spring of 2009. The Kirts have approved the first steps in the management plan to establish an aesthetic management zone to protect home values in the Wesgate community. They have also approved to reduce the fire hazard in a Virginia pine stand on the north portion of the property and reforest the stand with blight resistant American chestnut (Castanea dentata). DSLCC students will participate in the reforestation of this important native species after the harvesting operations. They will be conducting timber harvesting activities over portions of 2009 & 2010.

Tools, Equipment and Supplies

Students are required to purchase: (for suggested purchase sites, see the Resource Page)

First Year Students:

sturdy shoes
rain gear for outdoor labs and field trips (optional)
compass (Recommended brands SILVA Ranger Compass or SUUNTO Navigator MC-2)

Second Year Students:

logger’s tape (Recommended brand Spencer Combination)
hard hat
hearing protection
steel toed shoes

Please check with faculty (see Faculty page) before purchasing if your have a question.


Suggested sites for purchasing tools and/or equipment:

Forestry Suppliers
Ben Meadows

Resources about forestry careers and other significant information:

Society of American Foresters
Silvics of North America
Careers in Forestry
Dendrology at Virginia Tech

Additional resources are hosted at the DSLCC Library Forest Management Technology page.

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