March 18, 2016 -- Report Chronicles Failed Hardwood Commodity Check-Off
“You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them.” Baseball legend Satchel Paige’s quote is especially apropos to a new report released today by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment).
Lessons From the Attempted Hardwood Check-offreviews the ups, downs, and lessons learned from a more than five-year effort to advance a research and promotion program for America’s hardwood lumber and hardwood plywood segments of the forest products industry.
“A group of executives from the hardwood industry approached the Endowment seeking funds for a ‘grow the market promotion program’ in 2010,” said Endowment President and CEO Carlton Owen. “We welcomed the opportunity to work with them collaboratively, as we have with the softwood lumber and paper & packaging segments of the industry, to develop sustainable means to enhance markets for trees and the wide range of beautiful products that they yield.”
Despite joint investments of more than $600,000 and untold hours of work from a host of industry representatives, the effort was ultimately unsuccessful. The Endowment’s review notes at least five major barriers to success including the highly fractured nature of this segment of the industry and a general anti-government feeling exploited by opponents.
March 17, 2016 -- Protecting Drinking Water through Healthy Forests
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) hosted a special session at the 2016 Sustainable Water Management Conference to highlight the important role that forests play in protecting drinking water. “Seeing Green: Improving Water Quality and Quantity through Forestry” featured six speakers who highlighted case studies, new opportunities, and successful strategies from across the country. The session was held Wednesday morning, March 9, 2016, in Providence, Rhode Island.
“An estimated two out of three Americans drink water that originates in a forest” said Peter Stangel, the Endowment’s Senior Vice President and session organizer. “Retaining working forests in watersheds, enhancing the health of these woodlands, and creating mechanisms to compensate land owners for providing abundant, clean water is a priority for the Endowment.”
February 29, 2016 -- Greening the Water Utility of the Future
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) hosted a special session at the 2016 Utility Management Conference to highlight the important role that forests and other types of natural or green infrastructure play in protecting drinking water sources, reducing water treatment costs, and managing stormwater. Four speakers from across the U.S. highlighted case studies and new opportunities to integrate forests and green infrastructure into the “Water Resources Utility of the Future,” the conference theme. The session was held Saturday morning, February 27, 2016, in San Diego.
“TheWater Resources Utility of the Future Blueprint for Actiondocument highlights an important role for green infrastructure, such as well-managed forests,” said Peter Stangel, the Endowment’s Senior Vice President and session organizer. “Our speakers have first-hand experience with both the challenges and benefits of green infrastructure as an important complement to traditional, man-made approaches such as water treatment facilities. They presented a compelling case for the economic and social benefits of green infrastructure.”
February 9, 2016--USDA and Endowment Expand Work with African American Forest Owners
Over the coming three years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Forest Service (USFS), and the U. S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities will invest more than $4 million to stabilize African American forestland ownership across generations and enhance family wealth by increasing income and land asset value through sustainable forestry.
“The involuntary loss of African American family forest and farm land over the past century has been a tragedy for those families and a loss to the economies of rural communities across the Southeastern United States,” said Carlton Owen, the Endowment’s President and CEO. “Working together we see significant opportunities to stem further land loss, increase family income, stimulate local forest-based economies and enhance forest health through sustainable forest management on African American-owned forestland.”
February 8, 2016 -- Partnerships Highlight 2015 Annual Report
Catalyst. Synergist. Collaborator. Facilitator. These are just a few of the roles played by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) to benefit working forests and forest-rich communities. Always focused on its charter to “ultimately support the North American forest industry,” the Endowment’s partnerships cross sectors, political lines, and even national borders.
The Endowment today released its 2015 Annual Report highlighting these partnerships and sharing both successes—and failures—of the past year. Focusing on six arenas in which the Endowment has grown partnerships —Government, Non-Profit, Military Lands, Research Institutions, For-Profit, and Canada — the report chronicles the Endowment’s winning model: bringing together uncommon allies to advance a shared vision.
“Had we founded our work on any model other than partnerships,” says Endowment President and CEO Carlton Owen, “the result would be fewer successes, dimmer hopes, and sorely depleted coffers. With this report, we celebrate our partners of all shapes and sizes. We can’t thank each group enough for taking the risk on a start-up organization with only a vision and a promise. This report highlights just a few of the successes and challenges that we’ve faced together.”