News

DSLCC Forestry Program

Bulldozer, Transport Donated to DSLCC Forestry Program

Monday, March 19, 2018

Categories: adult learning, community, Programs, student success     /     Tags: adult education, community, Forestry, programs, students

Bulldozer, Transport Donated to DSLCC Forestry Program

Gathering in front of a bulldozer and transportation truck donated to the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Forest Management Technology Program by the Virginia Department of Forestry, are, front row from left: Chad Stover, Alan Dale Craft (kneeling), Patti Nylander and Clint Folks, all with the VDOF; DSLCC Assistant Professor Billy Newman; DSLCC Vice President Dr. Benjamin Worth; the DSLCC Roadrunner mascot; Virginia State Forester Rob Farrell; DSLCC President Dr. John Rainone; Ed Zimmer, VDOF Chief of Operations; Danny Fortune, VDOF Fleet Manager; and DSLCC Forest Management Technology Program Head Scott Reigel. Top row: DSLCC forestry students Christopher Matthews, Dallas Staton, Jonathan Moore, Jacob McKee, Sam Rhodes and Diego Sweet. Stover is a 2001 DSLCC graduate, and Craft is a 1972 DSLCC graduate who retired from the VDOF in 2007. Craft was the first DSLCC graduate to be hired by the agency, formerly known as the Virginia Division of Forestry.

Bulldozer, Transport Donated to DSLCC Forestry Program

Dabney S. Lancaster Community College received a wildland firefighting bulldozer and transportation truck from the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) following a brief ceremony on the DSLCC Clifton Forge campus Tuesday. The equipment has been retired from firefighting service and will now enhance the school’s forestry training program.

VDOF received funding from the Virginia General Assembly to replace a significant number of its fleet of firefighting dozers during the past couple of years. Consequently, the agency was able to donate a gently used dozer and transport to DSLCC.

“Rather than selling these vehicles at auction and using the proceeds to purchase new equipment, we chose to donate this tractor-transport unit to the only accredited forestry tech program in Virginia,” said Virginia State Forester Rob Farrell. “We value the next generation of forestry professionals and see this gift as an investment in the future of the forestry sector, and, hopefully, the VDOF workforce.”

Farrell said he was delighted that the fire-fighting equipment will have a new career as a teaching tool.

“We are extremely pleased and thankful to have a partnership with the Virginia Department of Forestry,” stated DSLCC President Dr. John Rainone. “As we continue the work of training the next generation, it is encouraging to know that the Commonwealth recognizes the significant impact of the DSLCC forestry program on the state’s economy, as well as our own regional and local economy.”

Rainone noted that DSLCC is proud to have the only accredited two-year forestry program in Virginia, “which makes us unique….We have wonderful leadership in the program and our students get jobs. DSLCC’s forestry program continues to expand and is a wonderful asset not only for the college, but also for the community,” he added.

“The impact that the addition of the bulldozer and truck will make to the DSLCC forestry department is immense,” shared DSLCC Forestry Program Head Scott Reigel. He noted that DSLCC’s program is hands-on and that this equipment will enable students to be better trained in the field.

“I am so very thankful for the continued partnership with VDOF. Their support makes a significant impact on our forestry program and the caliber of student that DSLCC is able to produce,” added DSLCC Forestry Department Assistant Professor Billy Newman.

Also making comments were DSLCC Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Benjamin Worth, and Ed Zimmer, VDOF Chief of Operations. Newman noted the efforts of Danny Fortune, who serves as VDOF’s fleet manager.

Newman recognized 1972 DSLCC forestry graduate Alan Dale Craft of Selma, who was the first DSLCC alum to be hired by the then-Virginia Division of Forestry. Craft retired in 2007. Also in attendance was Chad Stover, another DSLCC graduate who now works for the VDOF.

The VDOF protects and develops healthy, sustainable forest resources for Virginians. Headquartered in Charlottesville, the Agency has forestry staff members assigned to every county to provide citizen service and public safety protection across the Commonwealth, which it’s been doing now for more than 100 years. VDOF is an equal opportunity provider.

With nearly 16 million acres of forestland and more than 108,000 Virginians employed in forestry, forest products and related industries, Virginia forests provide an overall economic output of more than $21 billion annually.

For more information about the DSLCC forestry program, contact Reigel at (540) 863-2984 or email rreigel@dslcc.edu.