Photo Credit: James Edward Mills

“America’s Forests With Chuck Leavell” Episode III to Air on PBS and Educational Channels Across the Country

Features the nationally recognized and award-winning Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention (SFLR) Program

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Greenville, SC

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE (December 20, 2019)

Greenville, SC – The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is pleased and proud to share that “America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell” Episode III, which features the nationally recognized and award-winning Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention (SFLR) Program will soon be showing across the country. Episode III features some of the voices and stories of the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention (SFLR) Program, with a focus on South Carolina forest owners. It was funded by the Endowment and its partners USDA Forest Service (USFS) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The Endowment hosted the Episode’s Premiere on December 10 at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Among the attendees were Congressman James E. Clyburn, 6th District, and Congressman William Timmons, 4th District, both of South Carolina; Vicki Christiansen, Chief, USDA Forest Service (USFS); Jim Hubbard, Under Secretary for Natural Resources & Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); Kevin Norton, Associate Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); and other dignitaries.
America’s Forests,” hosted by Chuck Leavell, Tree Farmer and Keyboardist for the Rolling Stones, captures the breadth of our nation’s woodlands – both public and private. The program, produced by Choose Outdoors, features different stories that demonstrate how forests are integral to the well-being and economic health of communities across the country.
Launched in 2012, the SFLR Program is a collaborative and community-led effort to aid African American landowners in keeping their land in the family and increasing its economic value. The program connects local, state, and federal organizations to assist landowners in this process and works through grass-roots organizations in the Southeastern U.S. Among other services, the SFLR Program provides access to legal assistance and opportunities to adopt sustainable forestry practices. Program supporters include the Endowment, the NRCS, the USFS, The JPB Foundation, and the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. This past summer, the American Forest Foundation (AFF) became a key partner in the SFLR network and began a long-planned transition as the national coordinator for the work. AFF will work to help reach additional landowners and support policy efforts to curb African American land loss.
“The SFLR Program is, without a doubt, one of the most important programs I’ve been involved with during my career. The Endowment could not be prouder of the success we’ve seen throughout the South and the positive impact it has had on sustainable forestry and the livelihoods of African American landowners over the past seven years,” said Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President at the Endowment. “Seeing this episode in its final form is so exciting, and I look forward to seeing what the next chapter in SFLR’s story holds.”
The SFLR Program has been recognized with multiple awards, including the USDA Forest Service Regional Forester’s (Region 8) Honor Award for Delivering State and Private Forestry Programs in 2019; the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships in 2018; and the USDA’s highest honor, the Abraham Lincoln Award for protecting natural resources in 2016.

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For more information contact: Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President, (205) 792-8650, alicia@runslikeclock.work

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

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