The Melodic Alliance of Piano Keys and Forest Trees

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A blues rift from a finely tuned piano fills the fall air in a home outside of Portland, Oregon. Legendary pianist Chuck Leavell’s fingers dance across the keys as members of a dinner party gather around and listen intently. However, the assembled audience did not come specifically to hear the acclaimed musician, whose music has been heard in the works of the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, George Harrison and John Mayer and so many more. This privileged audience has gathered instead to talk tree farming and sustainable forestry; Chuck’s other passions.

The home and piano belong to Paul and Sibyl Barnum. As Executive Director of Oregon Forest Resource Institute (OFRI), Paul works with tree farmers like Chuck on education focusing on sustainability and protecting America’s forests. The two met as a part of the North America Forest Partnership and joined forces to work on the filming of the TV series, America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell in mid-2016. They quickly realized they were committed to similar efforts and held similar interests in forestry, wood utilization and the environmental benefits of actively managing our forests.

Common Misconception

Throughout Chuck’s career as a tree farmer, he is asked, just what is a tree farmer, and is it really ok to cut down trees? According to Chuck and a growing number of environmentalists, the inarguable answer is that harvesting plays an essential role in keeping our forests growing and healthy.

“With sustainability being one of our main points in educating at OFRI, the common misconception is that tree farming is harmful to our forests, when it is in fact the opposite,” explained Paul. “The cycle of harvest, replanting and forest stewardship is vital to keep private forests as forests,” he says. Many states require forest landowners to replant as soon as possible after harvest. And in Oregon, it’s the law, as are protections for water and wildlife.

Harvesting is also important to ensure that overgrown forests are not fire-prone due to lack of sound management. While most of conservation and protecting forests need a “hands off” approach, managing and maintenance of forests are key contributors to a keeping forests healthy and fire resilient.

Educating Future Generations

A commonly asked question around sustainability, especially for the forestry and farming community, is what impact can I make as an average citizen? Average citizens can be given the tools which then empower them to take an active role by training and educating the lawmakers, environmentalists, and citizens of future generations.

Chuck’s Mother Nature Network focuses on sustainability and awareness. Both are promoted through adopting “responsible living” techniques for adults to adapt to their everyday life in ways they can pass off to children. Organizations such as OFRI provide adaptable curriculums for K-12, giving children the chance to learn about the importance of our forests and maintaining a healthy relationship with the outdoors by connecting them with the environment around them. America’s forests makes up 8.5% of the nation’s total land area, are full of renewable resources, and provide 6.1 million jobs to Americans.

What’s Next For America’s Forest?

“There’s a lot that still needs to be done in terms of educating and cultivating sustainable habits in our culture,” explained Paul. On a high level, preserving our forests starts with where we live and what resources we use on a daily basis and making conscious decisions.

Explore America’s forests by tuning into America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell. Follow America’s Forest with Chuck Leavell on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The pilot episode of America’s Forests will air at 7 p.m. April 1 on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Overview

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Congress established the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) with Title IV of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (PDF, 40 KB).

The purpose of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program is to encourage the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes.

http://www.fs.fed.us/restoration/CFLRP/overview.shtml

CNNF-The Nature Conservancy Ink Stewardship Agreement

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Last week, The Nature Conservancy and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest signed a Stewardship Agreement that officials say will improve the health and long-term sustainability of the forest while expanding the ability to provide timber to Wisconsin’s forest products industry.

http://wxpr.org/post/cnnf-nature-conservancy-ink-stewardship-agreement

Would you live in a wooden skyscraper?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Douglas fir tree is a marvel of natural engineering. The trunk, made mostly of slender dead cells each a few millimeters long, can reach heights of 100 meters. It's supple enough to sway in windstorms without snapping, yet strong enough to support its weight—up to 160 metric tons. Kilogram for kilogram, a wooden beam made from this fir is 3.5 times stronger than steel. A single tree can store half its weight in carbon and can replace itself, given enough time. Its luminous, patterned wood can be sculpted into virtually any shape.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/would-you-live-wooden-skyscraper

Chuck Leavell is happiest around trees or Stones

Sunday, September 25, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — The doorway into Studio Trilogy isn't particularly wide, so by all accounts, Chuck Leavell's head shouldn't be able to squeeze through it.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/05/02/chuck-leavell-rolling-stones-pianist-passion-for-environment/8435235/

The basics of defensible space and the “home ignition zone”

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The concept of the home ignition zone was developed by USDA Forest Service fire scientist Jack Cohen in the late 1990s, following some breakthrough experimental research into how homes ignite due to the effects of radiant heat. For more than 15 years, NFPA’s wildfire safety recommendations have been shaped by this fire science and because of it, is able to provide actionable guidance for homeowners to help them prepare homes/home landscapes to resist wildfire.

http://www.firewise.org/wildfire-preparedness/be-firewise/home-and-landscape/defensible-space.aspx?sso=0

D.R. Johnson is first certified U.S. manufacturer of cross-laminated timbers

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Riddle, Ore. — D.R. Johnson received the first U.S. certification to manufacture cross-laminated timbers (CLT) under a new standard approved last year by the American National Standards Institute. The CLT panels were tested and certified by the American Plywood Association. The certification clears the way for the company to market its 3-lam, 5-lam, and 7-lam CLT panels to an emerging U.S. wood building market.

http://cenews.com/post/7573/d-r-johnson-is-first-certified-u-s-manufacturer-of-cross-laminated-timbers

Will Our Future High-Rises Be Made Of Wood?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Among all the buildings going up in the biggest boom in Portland real estate history, only one of them can be called the first of its kind in the nation.

http://www.opb.org/radio/article/portland-oregon-cross-laminated-timber-albina-yard/