Home-grown tree-lover is new forester for Fauquier
--Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Jay Pinsky
When trees speak, Fauquier native Kyle Dingus listens.
Dingus, a brand-new forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry's Warrenton office, says our trees, all trees, have a lot to say.
The Virginia Tech University graduate said he has been fine-tuning his ears to the language of the forest ever since he was a boy in Midland.
As a forester Dingus learned about a variety of specialty areas likeforest biology, woodland management, outdoor recreation, timber procurement, hydrology, computer applications and spatial analysis.
" I loved Tech and Blacksburg, but there's no place like home."
Dingus said his new position in Warrenton is his dream job because its home and Fauquier has such a wide range of forestry from the mountain areas of the north to the foothills of the south.
Dingus said he knew from an early age he wanted to work in forestry.
"My first memories of the forest were of me hunting and fishing," Dingus said. "I knew then I was connected to the forest."
Growing up around a tree-friendly business didn't hurt either.
Dingus is the grandson of Fauquier's own Stan Haworth, who used to run Warrenton Nursery.
He knew he wanted to do what he loved, and get paid for it.
"You're going to be working your whole life, you might as well enjoy it so I became a forester," said Dingus.
A lot of the motivation to work in the civic-minded world of forestry came from an experience Dingus had fly fishing in Stanton, Va., when he was 13 years-old.
" I was fly fishing for mountain brook trout and I saw this sheen comes across the water," said Dingus.
"I was upset about it and decided right then that there's no way future generations should have to deal with that."
Dingus joined Trouts Unlimited, got more involved in natural resource-related issues and now, works in the same town where he was born.
He knew as a teenager trees mattered.
"There isn't an hour in your life where you're not benefiting from a tree," said Dingus. "They do a lot of work for us."
As much as Dingus loves trees, he also wants to help people understand the forest's value to the ecosystem and their lives.
"A lot of people get into forestry just for the trees," said Dingus, "but I got into it to help people as well."
Now, Dingus serves not just Fauquier but Loudoun, Prince William, Fairfax, and Arlington counties from the Warrenton office.
"My career goal is to work for the benefit of Virginia forests and its citizenry," said Dingus.
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