America's Forests with Chuck Leavell is Going to South Carolina to see What the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Program is all About

Monday, October 15, 2018

SOUTH CAROLINA - Chuck Leavell is on the road again. Stay tuned for a special episode of America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell and follow his journey into the south. The new episode aims to shine light on a deep-rooted program that helps African American landowners better understand options for forested land they inherited or own.

The Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention (SFLR) program is a partnership of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and USDA Forest Service (USFS). The program promotes intergenerational land retention and family asset creation for African American landowners across the southeast.

“The success of the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project demonstrates the power of government, philanthropy, and community collaboration to advance opportunity. We at the Endowment are proud to support a program that leverages public and private investment designed to empower African American families and communities to retain rural family land ownership, enhance forest health, and build intergenerational wealth,” said Endowment President and CEO Carlton Owen.

The SFLR program was launched in 2013 as an effort to aid African American landowners in turning their forested properties into economic assets. The program capitalizes on innovative partnerships between local, state, and federal organizations to assist landowners in this process. SFLR provides a variety of support to these landowners, including access to legal assistance and opportunities for sustainable forestry. To date, the program supports 8 project sites across 7 states and more than 955 landowners. The participants own a combined 71,000 acres, ensuring land assets remain held by historical landowners.

SFLR has continued to strengthen networks that support, connect, and empower landowners. These networks are catalysts through which African American landowner leaders are emerging and organizing—both locally and regionally. Ultimately, it is the empowered leadership of these landowners and those they influence that will define the program's legacy.

The series is produced by Choose Outdoors and 42 Degrees North Media and the South Carolina episode is made possible with support from the USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Endowment.

We hope you are as excited about the premiere of our next episode in South Carolina and the SFLR program, as are we. The inspiring and life changing stories you hear won’t be found anywhere else. Check it out on your local PBS station. Call in to request it!

For more information on the series, to host a showing of an episode or to get involved in future episodes, visit americasforestswithchuckleavell.com, follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or email us.

Oregon and Colorado Episodes to Air on Rocky Mountain PBS

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Rocky Mountain PBS announced that it will air repeat showings of both episodes in the America's Forest with Chuck Leavell series. Tune in the following dates and times: 

  • May 3 from 7:00-7:30 p.m. - Oregon 
  • May 5 from 10:30-11:00 p.m. - Colorado
  • May 6 from 5:00-5:30 p.m. - Colorado
  • May 7 from 10:30-11pm - Oregon 

Both episodes also are available online for streaming. View them online here: Oregon and Colorado.

 

 

Fireside Chat at Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Saturday, February 10, 2018

America's Forests with Chuck Leavell premiered the second episode at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Wednesday, January 24th. Following the premiere, Chuck moderated a fireside chat with Brian Ferebee, Regional Forester for the Rocky Mountain Region of U.S. Forest Service; Jim Neiman, President and CEO of Neiman Enterprises; and Paige Lewis, Deputy Director/Director of Conservation of the Colorado chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Watch the full fireside chat below:

 


 

America's Forests with Chuck Leavell Comes to Colorado

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Colorado episode of America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell is a production of Choose Outdoors and 42° N Media with support from Rocky Mountain Region of the US Forest Service, Intermountain Forest Association, Denver Water, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Rocky Mountain PBS, El Pomar Foundation and Colorado State Forest Service. Stay tuned for the premiere on Rocky Mountain PBS in 2018!

 

 

America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell to Air June 15 on Georgia Public Broadcasting

Friday, June 09, 2017

The first episode in the entertaining and educational television series celebrating our national forests and featuring Georgia-native Chuck Leavell will air on Georgia Public Television on Thursday, June 15 at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Chuck Leavell is a forestry advocate and conservationist who also happens to be the keyboardist and musical director for the Rolling Stones. As host, Chuck serves as the on-camera guide, travelling across the country to interview people who are passionate about the gifts we get from our woods and exploring creative solutions to complex problems impacting this important natural resource.

“The search for solutions to the problems of sustainable growth, climate change, and energy conservation is increasingly inspiring thought leaders to look at one of America’s finest resources - our forests”, said America’s Forests host, Chuck Leavell. “Whether for building or for recreation, it is clear that our forests are good for the economy and for the spirit.”

The pilot episode airing on GPB on June 15 features the state of Oregon, including the trend toward building skyscrapers with cross laminated timber in Portland, fire mitigation with the help of mountain bikers in Bend, and habitat restoration in the Siuslaw National Forest.

“Public and private partners across the country are working hand in hand to both care for and to create sustainable solutions using wood from our forests” said Bruce Ward, president of Choose Outdoors. “We are proud to help tell these stories to educate and inspire citizens to become every day champions.”

The next episode will shine the spotlight on Colorado and filming will begin summer of 2017. The series is produced by Choose Outdoors and 42 Degrees North Media and is made possible with support from the U.S. Forest Service, Neiman Enterprises and Vaagen Brothers, along with the Oregon Forest Resources Institute.

For more information, visit www.americasforestswithchuckleavell.com, follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or contact Executive Producer and President of Choose Outdoors, Bruce Ward at bruceward1@gmail.com or 303- 917-1476.


How are we using cross-laminated timber?

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

 

In a state that is covered over 50% with forests, Oregon embraces natural resources around the state in addition to a sustainable lifestyle, especially when it comes to expanding communities. What does this mean exactly? Well as one of the fastest growing cities in America, Portland is breaking ground on new buildings and skyscrapers each year, but doing so in a way that is much different from most cities.

A four-story building designed by Lever Architecture named Albina Yard, is currently under construction in the heart of Portland, utilizes mass timber construction with a glue-laminated timber frame and Cross-laminated Timber (CLT) panels manufactured and prefabricated in Timber from Riddle, Oregon. “The idea that you can leverage local resources to really drive economic development is really important,” said project architect, Thomas Robinson.

Cross-laminated timber is a wood panel typically consisting of three, five, or seven layers of dimension lumber oriented at right angles to one another and then glued to form structural panels with exceptional strength, dimensional stability, and rigidity.

The cross laminated timber used for Albina Yard is manufactured just a few hours south of Portland by a company named D.R. Johnson Lumber, the first cross-laminated timber provider in the U.S. With the success of Albina Yard, a new skyscraper named Framework is planned for Portland and will be 12 stories in total.

Learn more about the innovation with CLT in this short segment of America’s Forests.

 


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