Virginia’s New State Forester Begins Work

Bettina K. Ring began work this week as only the seventh State Forester of Virginia in the 100-year-history of the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Photo courtesy Va. Department of Forestry

May 7, 2014

Bettina K. Ring began work this week as only the seventh State Forester of Virginia in the 100-year-history of the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). She was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe just four weeks ago.

Ring came to the VDOF from the American Forest Foundation where she was senior vice president. She has served in the agency for 14 years, rising from an area forester to the position of Deputy State Forester.

Ring is the first and only woman in VDOF history to hold the positions of State Forester and Deputy State Forester.

The Virginia Department of Forestry has 235 employees across the state to provide services to landowners and to protect the lives and property of Virginians from the ravages of wildfire across 16 million acres of forestland in the Commonwealth.

“Because we’re such a small agency with a huge area of responsibility (62 percent of Virginia’s land mass is forestland), we have to be highly effective and efficient to protect and to serve the citizens,” Ring said. “I plan to build on the success of my six predecessors and move the VDOF from one of the best forestry agencies in the nation to the best forestry agency in America!”

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore said, “Bettina Ring is the right person to lead the VDOF into its second century. She not only knows the Agency inside and out, but she brings a wealth of senior-level experience in natural resources issues on a national scale.”

Ring is a Virginia native who earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry at Virginia Tech and earned an MBA from James Madison University.


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