Alumnus James E. (Jim) Mooney II, 55, founder, past president, and executive director of the Virginia Loggers Association, died Oct. 27 at his home in Lake Monticello, Virginia. He was a passionate logging industry activist, a former logger, and a community volunteer.

Many remember him as the “Mooney’s Corner” columnist for Timber Harvesting magazine from 2001 to 2008. He loved to evoke subscriber feedback, handling both praise and criticism with the grace of a Virginia gentleman.

Described by Timber Harvesting Executive Editor David “DK” Knight as a giver, Mooney was a lifetime member of the local volunteer fire and rescue squad, became an EMT, organized a swift water rescue team, and always traveled with first-aid equipment.

A native of Charlottesville, Mooney earned a degree in forestry from Virginia Tech in 1982. The next year he co-founded Piedmont Thinning and Harvesting Inc., operating the company for several decades. Mooney was active in the Virginia Forestry Association, serving on the logger committee and recruiting other logging contractors to the organization. He was instrumental in getting the forestry association to form a logging council, the genesis of the Virginia Loggers Association (VLA), of which he became the first president. Mooney later served as VLA’s first executive director, receiving only partial compensation during the early years. He remained at the VLA helm until his death.

In 1994, Mooney was among the group that hammered out the framework of a new national group, the American Loggers Council. He helped write bylaws, sat on its first board of directors, and served as the council’s fifth president. He was also one of three loggers who represented the national logging community on the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Logger’s Forum. At the time of his death, he was serving as chairman of the council’s communications committee and on its membership committee.

To help ensure the continuance of the industry he loved so much, Mooney took steps to establish a scholarship at his alma mater. To donate to the Jim Mooney Memorial Scholarship Fund in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, contact Emily Hutchins at or 540-231-8859.

Read DK Knight’s touching tribute to his friend and colleague at