The “Stewardship Plan for Virginia Tech's Old-Growth Forest near Lane Stadium" was written by Rodney Walters, a former master’s student in urban forest ecology and management from Bozeman, Montana.
Walters developed the plan in 2016 as part of the requirements for completion of his degree, under the guidance of an advisory committee composed of:
- John Seiler, alumni distinguished professor and The Honorable and Mrs. Shelton H. Short Professor of Forestry,
- Eric Wiseman, associate professor of Urban Forestry and Arboriculture,
- Mike Sorice, assistant professor of natural resource recreation; and,
- Sarah Karpanty, associate professor of wildlife.
Prior to attending Virginia Tech, Walters was the lead arborist at Montana State University.
Walters graduated in May 2016 with a master’s degree in forestry and is now teaches arboriculture at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Oregon.
The 377-page plan includes a list of recommendations that the Office of University Planning (in the Division of Administrative Services) is now considering for implementation as part of Virginia Tech’s commitment to preserving the wooded area.
“This report will be a valuable tool to us as we work toward putting a plan into place for the future of the woods ,” said Jason Soileau, university architect and assistant vice president.
Soileau and the Office of University Planing are currently reviewing the reccomendations in Walter's stewardship plan and looking at how those recommendations can be incorporated into a seperate plan for the long-term use, enjoyment, and health of the woods that also takes into consideration impact and cost factors.
The rare old-growth urban forest near Lane Stadium on the campus of Virginia Tech covers approximately 11.5 acres. It contains over 250 large trees, including dozens of white oak trees that have been estimated by scientists to be over 300 years old. It is unofficially known as Stadium Woods.