Virginia Cooperative Extension develops and supports new discoveries, ideas, products, and services in natural resources and the environment. Virginias rich natural resources have a long history of use, misuse and changing pressures. Today our treasured natural resources are more valued and needed and simultaneously under more varied pressures, than ever. Every Virginian depends on the goods and services provided by our Commonwealth’s natural resources.
Approximately 63 percent of Virginia is forested and nearly two-thirds of this is privately owned. Forest-related industries provide $17 billion annually to Virginia’s economy (2% of the GDP), 103,800 jobs and another $8.7 billion in value added. Equally important are the value of our natural areas in services, such as clean water, habitat, and carbon sequestration. Studies estimate these natural area ecosystem service benefits to exceed $18 billion annually. Virginia Cooperative Extension provides landowners, and land managers and decision makers with educational opportunities and resources to positively impact these resources help them manage those lands. Extension programs build individual and community capacity to address critical environmental priorities; to make a difference in air, soil, and water quality; sustainable forests, fish, wildlife, and watersheds; as well as other renewable natural resources.