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Press Release dated Tuesday, June 19, 2012
From: The Friends of Stadium Woods www.savestadiumwoods.com
The Friends of Stadium Woods is an all-volunteer, grassroots advocacy organization formed in November 2011 to promote the permanent protection and preservation of the 11 acre old-growth white oak urban forest ecosystem on the Virginia Tech campus.
To: Virginia Tech President Charles Steger
May 30 the Athletic Practice Facility Siting Evaluation Committee (APFSEC) report and recommendations were officially delivered to you. The BOV and the public were given a brief overview of the recommendations on June 4. The report is now public information. The Friends of Stadium Woods, the Virginia Tech community, and thousands of our supporters are waiting to learn the fate of the woods.
Numerous experts, consultants and an ad hoc university committee have worked tirelessly for over 6 months to develop clear recommendations regarding this issue. We understand there are many decisions and “due diligence” to be conducted regarding the practice facility siting. However, it is now apparent to all involved parties that the urban woodland is an uncommon treasure. There is undeniable overwhelming support for the permanent preservation of Stadium Woods. Further delay continues to tarnish Virginia Tech’s “green image.”
We urge you President Steger to announce the permanent preservation of Virginia Tech’s rare old-growth white oak urban forest, in its entirety, in an irrevocable conservation easement.
The Friends of Stadium Woods stand ready to work with you to create this designation for Stadium Woods through the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and/or the Department of Natural Resources of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We will gladly raise funds to help establish an endowment to protect, manage and restore the forest to its complete natural condition utilizing experts in the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation in the College of Natural Resources and the Environment. We will assist the university in promoting this unique campus resource.
Once preserved in perpetuity all current and future generations of Virginia Tech Hokies as well as the public are ensured access to the woods to learn about old-growth forest communities which are themselves an “endangered species” throughout the world.
President Steger we envision a distinctive bequest for the rare natural resource, the miracle forest known as Stadium Woods, and we invite you to announce your decision soon to preserve the woods in its entirety. Let’s “Invent the Future” with a precious and enduring legacy that we will all be proud of.
The Friends of Stadium Woods, Blacksburg, VA www.savestadiumwoods.com
Rebekah Paulson, Executive Director
540/ 250-6905, firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Committee Members:
Jeffrey Kirwan, VT Emeritus Forestry Professor and Extension Specialist
John Seiler, VT Alumni Distinguished Professor of Forest Biology
Sarah Gugercin, VT Research Associate, Department of Horticulture
Nancy Brauer, VT Alumni, writer, geologist, web developer, and graphic artist
VT Student Leaders:
Kara Dodson, Beyond Coal, Environmental Resources Management
Grazia Apolinares, graduate student, Environmental Policy & Planning
Erica Largen, President of the Environmental Coalition
Christopher Risch, filmmaker, Environmental Science
Advisory Board Members:
Elizabeth Fine, VT Professor of Appalachian Studies
Betty Hahn, VT Alumni, Ut Prosim member, Instructor of Appalachian Studies
Doug Chancey, Certified Abuse Counselor
Tammy Belinsky, Virginia Forest Watch Board Member