Endowment Announces Call for Speakers for FIRz 2020: A Forum for Innovation about Forests, Forest Products, and Forest-Rich Communities
Deadline for Speaker Submissions is February 28, 2020
U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Greenville, SC
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE (January 9, 2020)
Greenville, SC – The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) today announced a call for speaker nominations for the second annual Forest Innovation Reviews (FIRz) symposium to be hosted this Fall by Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. FIRz is a forum for innovative ideas to solve some of today’s most significant challenges and creates a space for presenting well-formed ideas about forests, forest management, forest products, and forest-rich communities, conveyed through short, powerful talks. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2020, at 11:59 PM Eastern.
Last year, innovative thinkers from every corner gathered for a day to discuss some of the biggest challenges — and potential solutions — that face forests and forest health. Topics included designing the future forest; the potential of blockchain to track sustainable sourcing; the use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) to better inform the past, present and future of forests; how trees can reverse the Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone; a new wood product to replace plastic; and much, much more. Talks from the inaugural 2019 FIRz, as well as a summary video, can be found on the Endowment website.
“The Endowment invests its time and resources in seven strategic areas: traditional markets, ecosystem markets, emerging markets, wood-to-energy, asset creation, forest health, and forest retention. We have found over the years, however, that current tools and practices are not enough to address some of our planet’s biggest challenges,” said Endowment President and CEO Carlton Owen. “Threats to forests, their health and productivity have never been greater, and those threats continue to outpace traditional solutions. FIRz is a forum for surfacing the best new ideas for the health and future of forests. It has emerged as the signature annual event for unearthing innovation and revolutionary thinking in all our focus areas.”
Submissions should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “FIRz Submission” and should include a written abstract or concept overview of not more than 500 words along with a short, 30-second video explaining the concept (videos do not need to be of high quality). Those asked to continue to the next step in the selection process will be notified no later than March 30, 2020. Selected speakers will share their ideas with an audience open to the new, innovative, and in some cases, utterly unheard-of thinking. Then those ideas will be shared around the world via video. The presentation voted by FIRz attendees as “most likely to make a lasting difference” will be awarded $10,000. For more information, visit www.usendowment.org or email email@example.com.
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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
Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Contributes to the Conservation of High-Quality Watershed and Longleaf Pine Ecosystem
U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Greenville, SC
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE (January 6, 2020)
Greenville, S.C. – An important piece of the Little River watershed in the North Carolina Piedmont region will be protected for years to come in part through the help of a $20,000 grant from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (the Fund) to the Three Rivers Land Trust (Land Trust).
The Fund’s support leveraged another $660,000 in external funding, allowing the Land Trust to purchase a permanent conservation easement on approximately 230 acres adjacent to another conservation site that protects one of the few remaining bogs in the Piedmont region. The property is a unique landscape with high ecological and conservation value and contains a mix of bottomland hardwoods and longleaf pine forests. The Little River watershed is home to a mix of species, including rare mussels and the Crested Fringed Orchid. The Land Trust plans to host educational hikes that will be open to the public and will begin advertising these events later this spring.
“We are excited about the protection of this special property in Montgomery County. This site adjoins an estimable conservation site and houses pitcher plants and similar wetland habitats. Also, this is one of very few sites in the state with native Piedmont Longleaf Pine,” said Travis Morehead, Three Rivers Land Trust Executive Director. “We appreciate the funding made available through the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund to conserve important habitats like this one in our state.”
“This project supports the restoration and maintenance of two important ecosystems – bottomland hardwoods and longleaf pine,” said Carlton Owen, President and CEO of the U. S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities that administers the Fund. “Not only is this land in the Little River watershed home to myriad plant and animal species, but it is also a critical clean water resource for the region, and we are proud to help bring Enviva and Three Rivers Land Trust together for this great outcome.”
“Enviva was especially glad to assist in the conservation of this tract because it has both critical bottomland hardwood as well as longleaf pine forest, which is also a priority for Enviva,” said Jennifer Jenkins, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for Enviva.
The Fund’s goal is to be a catalyst for investments in critical forest and habitat conservation in the North Carolina coastal plain and southeastern Virginia region. More than three years into the planned 10-year partnership, seventeen projects have been funded with a total commitment of over $2 million including the grant announced today. When these projects are completed, the Fund will have protected an estimated 24,500 acres of sensitive wetland forest and other habitats.
About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a $5 million, 10-year program established by Enviva Holdings, LP in December 2015 to protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests. Administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects in North Carolina and Virginia. www.envivaforestfund.org
About Three Rivers Land Trust Three Rivers Land Trust works with private landowners and public agencies to conserve the most important natural, scenic, agricultural, and historic places in a 10-county region of the central Piedmont. Since 1995, the mission of Three Rivers Land Trust has been to work thoughtfully and selectively with property owners to conserve our lands, vistas, and the essential nature of our region. For more information about Three Rivers Land Trust, please contact the Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or email@example.com. www.threeriverslandtrust.org
For more information contact: Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President, (205) 792-8650, 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