Retiring Virginia Forestry employee honored with forest

The longest tenured Virginia Department of Forestry employee ever, Billy Apperson, is retiring after almost 50 years and an illustrious career with the department. In an effort to recognize his pivotal role in one of the most astounding restoration efforts ever undertaken in Virginia, bringing back the longleaf pine, the department wanted to honor his service with something out of the ordinary. They decide to name a whole forest after him. The Department of Forestry estimates that only 200 native longleaf pines remain in the state, isolated to five localities, one of which, now bearing his name, is located near Apperson's stomping grounds near the town of Franklin.