March 13, 2015 -- 2015 Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program Challenge RFP
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) today announced that it is accepting proposals for the 2015 Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program Challenge. The 2015 Challenge Request for Proposals and the downloadable PDF proposal form are now available on the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Community’s (the Endowment) webpage. This information is also available by contacting Peter@usendowment.org. The deadline for submissions is 8 p.m. EDT, Friday, May 29, 2015. Up to $8 million is available for the 2015 REPI Challenge.
February 20, 2015 -- The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities Releases 2014 Annual Report
“Our 8th Annual Report (for calendar year 2014) reflects the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities’ (the Endowment) focus on “Investing for Impact” in a wide-array of initiatives all with the ultimate purpose of supporting the North American forest industry,” said President & CEO Carlton Owen.
“We are willing to use many different financial instruments to bring about systemic, transformative, and sustainable change to improve the health of America’s forests and the millions of people that depend upon them,” continued Owen. “We use traditional approaches such as grants, but more frequently we are moving to Program-related (low-interest loans) and Mission-related Investments (traditional loans) and even equity investments. Regardless of our investment strategy, in each case we seek a measurable impact that addresses our twin purposes of ‘keeping forests as forests’ and ‘growing family-wage jobs’ in forest-rich communities.”
Highlights from the Endowment’s 2014 successes featured in the Annual Report include:
Significant investments in commercialization of cellulosic nanofiber technology that could create markets for low-value wood thus providing important forest health benefits, such as reducing wildfires, while yielding 21st Century green products and high-wage jobs in rural America;
Creation of a new consortium focused on renewable energy from torrefied wood as another tool to advance forest health while also growing use of a domestically-produced renewable energy;
Revitalizing forest industry investments in research and development essential for expanding existing markets and creating new ones;
Continuing collaborations between the U.S. and Canada on forestry issues common to both;
Financial strategies to protect and improve management of forested watersheds which produce two-thirds of our Nation’s drinking water; and
Advances to help African American landowners retain and better manage their forests to improve their financial futures.
To access a copy of the 2014 Annual Report, click here.
February 12, 2015 -- State Action Plan RFP
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment), in partnership with the Southern Group of State Foresters, the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service, and the Southeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, seeks proposals for projects that enhance collaboration between state forestry and wildlife agencies in updating and implementingState Forest Action Plans and State Wildlife Action Plans. Through this RFP we seek to fund projects that will enhance cooperation, coordination, and collaboration within and/or between states with regard to plan implementation and to improve and document effectiveness of on-the-ground conservation outcomes resulting from enhanced collaboration.
States eligible for this project include: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Approximately $132,000 in combined federal and private funding is available for one or two projects. Matching funds are encouraged but not required.
For more information, and instructions on how to submit a proposal, click here.
February 12, 2015 -- Endowment Loan Aids Menominee Indian Tribe
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) today announced that it has made a $250,000 Program-related Investment (loan) to Menominee Tribal Enterprises, the business operating unit of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. Funds will be used to replace the boiler at the tribe’s sawmill in Neopit, WI.
Norman Shawanokasic, President, CEO, and Chairman of the MTE Board of Directors states, “We are thankful that the Endowment Board of Directors agreed to provide some of their funds to allow us to make this investment in upgrading the boiler that will enhance our mill’s overall efficiency. The Endowment worked to bring the Indian Land Tenure Foundation and its affiliate Indian Land Capital Company (ILCC) to the table to ensure that we could move forward. We’ve had this project planned for many years because of the money that it will save on one hand and because of the enhancements it will make to the air quality for our people and all residents of the Menominee Community. We’re excited that it’s finally underway.”
“This project was a very good fit for the Indian Land Capital Company and its lending products focused on land and natural resources. The ILCC board of directors is happy that we could step in and help make the project happen sooner rather than later,” according to Cris Stainbrook, ILCC board chair.
“We are especially pleased to be able to work with Menominee Tribal Enterprises and the Menominee Tribe on this important project that will ensure that their sawmill that has been providing sustainably produced wood products and vitally important jobs for well over 100 years will continue,” said Endowment President and CEO Carlton Owen.
For more information contact:
Carlton N. Owen, President & CEO, 864-233-7646, firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities – www.usendowment.org
The Menominee Tribal Enterprises operates one of the best managed working forests in the nation on the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin’s nearly 250,000 acre reservation about 45 miles northwest of Green Bay. The first sawmill operation was approved in 1871 and began operating in 1886. The current mill which began in 1908 is the longest continuously running tribal sawmill in the U.S. It produces about 15,000,000 board feet of lumber annually and employs 160 people at its operational peak.
The Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) is a national, community-based organization serving American Indian nations and people in the recovery and control of their rightful homelands. It works to promote education, increase cultural awareness, create economic opportunity, and reform the legal and administrative systems that prevent Indian people from owning and controlling reservation lands.
February 4, 2015 -- Water Quality and Economic Benefits of Forested Watersheds: Request for Proposals
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, in partnership with the Water Research Foundation (www.waterrf.org), today announced a request for proposalsto plan and convene a workshop to assess the state of the science for forested watershed protection as it relates to water quality and the impact on drinking water costs.
“Two-thirds of the drinking water in the U.S. originates in a forest,” said Peter Stangel, the Endowment’s Senior Vice President. “We know that healthy, well-managed forests produce cleaner water. There is increasing evidence that good management and protection of forested watersheds may reduce drinking water treatment costs. This workshop will bring together diverse experts to improve our understanding of the link between forest management practices and drinking water costs. This will help water utilities, communities and forest managers invest more confidently in source water protection activities.”
The $12 million award will fund conservation easements on working forests in four southern states. RCPP is a new program of the 2014 Farm Bill administered by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
“We are thrilled to be selected for funding in the inaugural Regional Conservation Partnership Program,” said Endowment President and CEO Carlton Owen. “This new USDA program is a bold approach to support locally-driven solutions for natural resource challenges. We commend Secretary Vilsack and NRCS Chief Jason Weller for their leadership in facilitating such an innovative, public-private partnership.”
January 20, 2015 -- E-Learning Course Launched to Protect Forest Product Safety and Forest Health
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) is pleased to announce the availability of a new e-learning course -- Trade in forest commodities and the role of phytosanitary measures - North-American edition. http://www.fao.org/forestry/foresthealthguide/76169/en/
“In a world where global trade in products is a reality, it is vitally important that we take every reasonable precaution to ensure that such trade does not exacerbate human or environmental health issues. Development of this product was led by the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada as a follow-up to the Canada/U.S. Forest Health Summits and serves as a good step toward enhancing forest health protection efforts in North America,” said Endowment President & CEO Carlton Owen.