GREENVILLE, SC (February 23, 2021)Brandon Walters has joined the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) as Communications and Administrative Coordinator. Walters brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from both the public and private sector, most recently serving as Special Assistant to the Public Service Commissioner for the Northern District of Mississippi. In that role, he served as one of the commissioner’s top aides, with much of his work devoted to media relations, intergovernmental affairs, constituent services, and operations.

Previously, Walters worked as an analyst and legislative liaison for the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office and in regulatory compliance in the proprietary education sector.

“I am excited to join the team at the Endowment,” said Walters. “The work done here is so important and tangible. Many jobs, lives, and communities depend on sustainable forestry, ecological services, and the manufacturing of wood products and I look forward to doing what I can to promote and continue the good work being done by the Endowment.”

Walters is originally from Ellisville, Mississippi, in the heart of Mississippi’s Pine Belt. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in journalism from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in political science from Auburn University at Montgomery. He has completed the State Executive Development Institute program at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University for emerging and established leaders in state government.

“We are thrilled to have Brandon as part of the Endowment team and know that his expertise and knowledge will make us a stronger organization. Having someone in-house devoted to communications will help us to more effectively tell our story, ultimately better enabling us to carry out our mission,” said Pete Madden, Endowment President and CEO.


About the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities:

The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities 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. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at

For more information, contact:

Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator, 864-233-7646,

Preparing Communities for the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission

Event Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Event Time: 4 PM ET to 5:30 PM ET

Event Page and Registration

Federal resources to assist economically distressed communities are typically limited to those which are intended to address crisis situations. The lack of an institutional presence to make comprehensive investments in those strategies that can move an area from distress to resilience often results in a piecemeal approach to attaining economic lift. What resources do communities need to have available to be ready for economic development that prioritizes investments to stimulate growth and labor potential?

Community, Academic, Policy and Government leaders around the southeast have determined that a properly governed and programmatically structured regional federal commission can respond to this institutional gap in the region. How can a regional federal commission respond to the needs of areas of persistent poverty and the vulnerable people who live within their borders? There is no shortage of ideas around the south about what those who live, work and study in distressed communities believe is needed to bring relief to their communities. There are scores of success stories about the role that regional federal commissions have made in moving historically distressed communities to sustained economic resilience, which is what sets regional commissions apart from other line-item federal resources. People in the region only ask that the commission in the south is more responsive in its approach to addressing the needs of the region with ideas like participatory governance, community advisory roles and community capacity building support. They want to ensure that they can avail themselves of cutting-edge information to make their regions competitive in the global economy, including understanding the innovation potential of existing industry sectors and identifying the potential of market opportunities in emerging sectors. They want a regional federal commission that is a partner with them in their efforts to grow the economy and stabilize the people. 

On February 10, join us in this very important early conversation to welcome the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission to partner in moving the region from distress to resilience.

End of the Year Message from Endowment President and CEO, Pete Madden.

Dear Valued Partners and Grantees,

As a challenging year draws to a close, we remain focused on our long-term mission and our relationships with all our partners and grantees. We are looking to the future with hope and optimism, confident that the partnerships we enjoy with all of you will accelerate our shared mission to advance sustainable forestry and its myriad benefits. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with each and every one of you.

A talented team and dedicated leadership

Our ability to meet the tests we have faced this year makes me more grateful than ever for such a talented team at the Endowment. They remain dedicated to working with you on innovative and transformative partnerships and projects that will pay dividends for years.

This team reflects the talents and dedication exemplified by our departing CEO Carlton Owen, who has led the Endowment since its founding in 2006. Central to Carlton’s rich legacy is positioning the organization to be a “go-to” partner to work on ways to advance support for the forest sector.

I also deeply appreciate the wise counsel and dedication of our volunteer board members who help guide our work and who always challenge us to be even better than before.

Meeting challenges and seizing opportunities

Among the challenges and opportunities we will face in 2021 is understanding that companies and organizations are not waiting to invest in forests using an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) lens. ESG approaches must inform a broad cross-section of our work for they promote improved performance on issues such as equity, climate change, sustainable water impacts, corporate governance and highlight the role forests play in improving quality of life for all.

For more than a decade, the Endowment has been a trusted and valued partner with a broad range of organizations, including public agencies, private industry, and conservation organizations committed to working forests and the communities that rely on them. I’m confident this will remain true for decades to come.

A proven track record

As the nation’s largest charity dedicated to working forests, the Endowment has a consistent and proven track record of successful partnership ventures that link to at least one of five strategic areas: traditional markets, future markets, ecosystem markets, asset creation, and forest retention and health.

Thank you for your continued support for the Endowment and for the forests we all love and rely on.

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Pete Madden

President and CEO

Grants Aim to Develop New Markets for Northern Forest Wood

Recipients seek to increase use of structural round timber, wood heat and wood-fired district heating

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

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 30, 2020)

CONCORD, NH — The Future Forest Economy Initiative awarded three grants that will drive a $1.7-million investment in the region’s forest economy, seeking to diversify markets for wood and wood products from the Northern Forest region.

“We’re making these grants at a time when the region needs to find new markets for its existing wood supply,” said Alicia Cramer, Vice President of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. “Market changes due to the coronavirus pandemic and the recent loss of a pulp-making facility in Jay, Maine, have left landowners, loggers and wood product manufacturers in northern New England seeking new markets for harvested wood.”

The $847,840 in grant funds will go to the Town of Ashland Maine to expand markets for structural round timber, a mass-timber building product; to a wood heat marketing consortium aiming to increase demand for wood heating fuels by 50 percent in the region; and to the Burlington (VT) Electric Department for design and pre-engineering to advance a wood-fired district heating system to serve the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Grant recipients and other sources are matching the grant funds with $852,053, bringing the total investment in new wood uses and marketing to $1,699,893.

The initiative — a cooperative effort of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities, and the Northern Forest Center — grew out of a congressional mandate to support the development of markets for wood products. The grant awards are the first in a three-year program that will invest $2.6 million to expand innovation, create market demand and create conditions that will allow businesses and communities to benefit from these innovations.

“We’re investing in these three projects because they each are significant opportunities to maintain and grow markets for wood, which in turn support forest stewardship and forest-based jobs that are an essential part of the region’s economy,” said Joe Short, Vice President of the Northern Forest Center. “The Ashland project is aiming to generate $1-2 million in sales; the Burlington project could mean $500,000 more in wood purchases each year once it’s online; and increased use of modern wood heat can help replace lost markets for low-grade wood that are key to forest landowners and loggers.”

The Town of Ashland, Maine, will receive $450,000 for an initiative to position Ashland and the Maine Woods to take advantage of an estimated $130 million market for structural round timber products in the northeastern United States. Structural round timber is a low carbon mass-timber building product that can be used as an alternative to steel. It requires no adhesives, minimal processing, and can be fabricated using existing facility infrastructure and local timber supplies.

“Ashland has been looking at multiple market opportunities to restore more wood products manufacturing to our local business mix,” says Cyr Martin, town manager for Ashland. “We’re strategically located at the gateway to the Northern Maine forest resource and have proximity and transportation access to significant markets. The Town has a 100-acre industrial park and numerous un- or under-utilized manufacturing sites that could support such businesses. What is missing is market demand to justify business investment in those sites, and this project will help us grow one of those markets,” he said.

The wood heat marketing consortium, a regional initiative, will invest $300,000 in a 3-year marketing campaign to build public support for a broad range of wood heating options and increase use of Northern Forest wood pellets and chips in lieu of imported fossil fuels. It aims for a 50% increase in low-grade wood used for heat, a gain of 900,000 tons over 2018 levels. Funds allocated to this project will invest in a multi-media advertising and public relations campaign that underscores the environmental and community benefits of heating with wood in this region. The Northern Forest Center manages the collaborative project.

“Northern New England imports all of its fossil heating fuels from other regions and other countries, exporting billions each year from our economy,” said Charlie Niebling, a consultant to Lignetics, Inc., one of 25 participants in the marketing consortium. “We have the technology to use wood to heat homes and buildings efficiently and cleanly – and keep those fuel dollars here at home where they support local jobs.  Wood fuels like pellets and chips provide markets for low-grade wood that have been lost in recent years, which supports good forestry and our forest industry. Wood is a renewable, low carbon fuel that delivers many benefits as a heating fuel,” he said.

The Burlington Electric Department in Burlington, Vermont, will receive $97,840 for design and pre-engineering to advance a wood-fired district heating system to serve the University of Vermont Medical Center. The work is a precursor to retrofitting the existing 50-megawatt McNeil biomass-powered electricity generator and to recovering some of the plant’s waste heat. If completed, the project would stabilize a significant market for low-grade wood — the plant currently uses 400,000 tons a year — and would grow that market by 15,000 tons a year.

“For decades, Burlington has been working to enhance Burlington Electric Department’s McNeil Generating Station to include a district energy system that would provide renewable thermal energy to large customers in Burlington,” said Darren Springer, general manager of Burlington Electric Department. “We were proud to announce earlier this year with our partners VGS and University of Vermont Medical Center that we were launching Phase 2 of an updated district energy project. With McNeil being such an important supporter of forest economy jobs in Vermont and the region, we were fortunate to receive such generous support from the Future Forest Economy Initiative that, with other funds, gets us the engineering analysis and refined economic feasibility modeling necessary to take us to a decision point on district energy in Burlington,” he said.

The US Endowment’s Cramer added, “The Northern Forest region is among the continent’s most heavily forested areas, with a long history of economic activity rooted in forests. We are working with the Center and the EDA to help the forest economy overcome losses due to mill closures and ensure that the sector can continue to benefit the region.”

Funds for the program come from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and a congressional appropriation of $3 million secured by the region’s congressional delegation in federal fiscal year 2018 that directed the agency to support the development of markets for wood products in northern regions of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. The federal funds are matched by $300,000 from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to help cover project development and administrative costs.

More information about the Future Forest Economy Initiative, including instructions for submitting grant concepts, is available at

The Northern Forest Center is a regional innovation leader and investment partner creating rural vibrancy by connecting people and economy to the forested landscape.

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.

For more information contact: 
Joe Short, Vice President, Northern Forest Center: 603-491-2651;

Alicia Cramer, Vice President, US Endowment for Forestry & Communities: 205-792-8650;

Contacts for each grant:
Town of Ashland, Cyr Martin, Town Manager. 207-435-2311;

Wood Heat Marketing — Charlie Niebling, Consultant to Lignetics, Inc., a consortium member: 603-965-5434;

Burlington Electric Department — Mike Kanarick, Manager of Customer Care, Communications, and Energy Services: 802-735-7962;

#ForestProud Presents: Standing Proud

You grow through what you go through. And through it all, we’ll be here. Standing proud.

Healthy Watersheds Consortium 2020 Newsletter

EPA Updated Watersheds Data Available

EPA announces the completion of Version 2.1 of the Watershed Health Index Online (WSIO). WSIO provides 436 indicators at the HUC12 level for all watersheds in the lower 48 states, including land cover, protected lands, impervious surface, drinking water sources and many more.  

Many of these WSIO indicators can be readily applied to compare watersheds using the Recovery Potential Screening (RPS) Tool, a systematic method and tool for comparing watersheds based on characteristics relevant to successful restoration or protection which are now downloadable from the RPS website.

For more information, please visit the RPS, HWP and WSIO websites (all three easily accessed from one healthy watersheds hub). 

USDA Forest Service Updated “Forests to Faucets” Data released

Forests to Faucets premiered in 2011 to portray the relationship between forests and source water across the U.S. The updated version 2.0 (F2F2) dataset released in April assesses all 88,000 HUC12 watersheds in the U.S. to identify those forests important to downstream surface drinking water supplies and evaluate each watershed’s natural ability to produce clean water. F2F2 includes future risks to watersheds such as development, wildfire or climate-induced changes to water quantity. More information available, here.

State Forest Action Plans and Drinking Water Protection

State Forest Action Plans (SFAPs) were developed in 2010 and are being updated by most state forest agencies in 2020. One of the original national themes of the plans is to “enhance the public benefits from trees and forests,” which includes protecting and enhancing water quality and quantity. The Healthy Watersheds team worked with the Source Water Collaborative and the National Association of State Foresters to develop a guidance memo with recommendations, state drinking water contacts, data resources and examples from some of the SFAPs. The deadline for these plan updates was recently extended until the end of December 2020. Now and through the summer is a good time to connect with your state forest agency on incorporating the protection of drinking water supplies into the plans.  More information is available at the National Association of State Foresters’ website.

American Water Resources Association (AWRA): Watershed Protection and Finance

AWRA recently published several articles related to watershed protection and conservation finance including one about the Healthy Watersheds Consortium and several Healthy Watersheds grantees.  

American Water Works Association (AWWA): USDA Funding for Source Water

AWWA recently published a paper on source water protection and funding through USDA programs providing several examples of watershed projects funded to date and advice on how to access those funds in the future. 

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Source Water Protection

NRCS continues to make funds available for source water protection through its National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) funding opportunity: NRCS NWQI Bulletin. This year each NRCS state office is required to submit a minimum of three watersheds for NWQI by July 3rd. The NWQI targets Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding for landowners to address drinking water quality with no match requirements. Watersheds can be submitted for either the “planning” phase (formerly called “readiness” phase) or “implementation” phase. Planning phase proposals are capped at $50,000 per assessment. Projects must be endorsed by NRCS so if you have project ideas contact your state NRCS office ASAP: NRCS State Conservationists office

AWWA Releases “Drinking Water at the Source” Publication

A concise new brochure from the American Water Works Association focuses on providing agricultural partners with information on the importance of source water protection. There are great stats on water use (e.g. 87% of the U.S. population relies on a public water supply), info on potential agricultural impacts to source water, and source water protection criteria, among other valuable information.    

For more information, contact:

Peter Stangel,  404-915-2763,
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (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-rich communities —

$1.8 Million in Grants Announced for Innovative Finance for National Forests Program

Ten awards support development of finance models that seek to leverage private sector capital to support resilience of the National Forest System and surrounding lands

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Greenville, SC
National Forest Foundation, Missoula, MT

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE (May 18, 2020)

Greenville, S.C. – Ten new grants will support local stakeholders partnering with project developers to connect private capital to unfunded environmental challenges in National Forests and surrounding landscapes in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, California, Rocky Mountains, Appalachians, and New England. 

The $1.8 million in awards are the first announced for the Innovative Finance for National Forests Grant Program. This new partnership is funded and administered by the USDA Forest Service National Partnership Office’s Conservation Finance Program, the National Forest Foundation (NFF), and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment). The ten projects funded were selected from nearly 50 proposals received in the inaugural year of the grant program.

“This partnership is the most ambitious effort yet to unlock private investment capital to improve the health of America’s National Forest System and adjacent private lands,” said Carlton Owen, the Endowment’s CEO. “Each award is an important experiment to determine if investors can realize environmental and social outcomes, and financial returns, while delivering much-needed financing to address burgeoning needs, as wildfire reduction.”

“These grants will help communities address some of the most pressing challenges on National Forests and surrounding private lands,” said Mary Mitsos, president and CEO at the NFF. “The partners selected for funding will tackle innovative approaches to reduce impacts of unnaturally severe wildfire, enhance visitor experiences at National Forests, protect drinking water sources, and help better manage important species such as coho salmon and white oak.”

“The Innovative Finance for National Forests program is advancing the Forest Service’s efforts to think outside the box when it comes to financing critical work to promote watershed health and sustainable recreation infrastructure,” said Jacqueline Emanuel, Director of the Forest Service National Partnership Office. “This program supports our efforts to test new ideas, demonstrate proof of concept, and refine and scale innovative approaches that leverage private capital to finance priority work.”

Two projects are being co-funded with generous support from private foundations: The Southwest Colorado Wildfire Environmental Impact Fund is being developed in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation and the Exemplary Forestry Investment Fund grant in Maine is being matched by an anonymous private foundation. 

Innovative Finance for National Forests is a five-year, competitive grant program. Additional information is available at 

Ten projects were selected for funding in the inaugural year of the Innovative Finance for National Forests Grant Program:

Refining and Expanding the Forest Resilience Bond — $495,000 to Blue Forest Conservation and the World Resources Institute to refine and replicate the Forest Resilience Bond model piloted in the Tahoe National Forest, California, primarily for watershed protection. In partnership with the USDA Forest Service, the model will be expanded to up to four additional National Forests, focused initially in California and the Pacific Northwest. The Forest Resilience Bond is a public-private partnership that enables private capital to finance much-needed forest restoration work and is the nation’s first financial product to support proactive management of the National Forest System. Blue Forest Conservation will also explore incorporating new ecosystem co-benefits into repayment revenue streams.   

Southwest Colorado Wildfire Environmental Impact Fund — $275,000 to the Mountain Studies Institute. The Mountain Studies Institute, in collaboration with Quantified Ventures and Ellen Roberts, will structure an Environmental Impact Fund (EIF) to address wildfire risk to watersheds and communities in Southwest Colorado using an outcomes-based financing approach. Building on the project team’s initial feasibility assessment, the EIF will function as a revolving loan fund to finance forest health treatments across thousands of acres of mostly private lands in and near the San Juan National Forest. The EIF will also leverage federal resources, private landowner contributions, and revenues from the sale of biomass material generated from thinning to restore natural forest density. This project is being developed with support from and in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation. 

Biomass Energy Implementation Fund — $201,000 to Wisewood Energy (Oregon) to structure an investment fund dedicated to implementing multiple community-scaled biomass energy projects near National Forest System lands in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. This fund is intended to alleviate barriers to the construction of advanced wood energy systems that use small-diameter and low-value biomass from National Forests and surrounding areas, which will help restore forest health, reduce wildfire hazards, protect water quality and accelerate forest restoration projects in the Western U.S.

Inyo National Forest Campgrounds Business Plan — $150,000 to the Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation (California/Nevada) which, in collaboration with Quantified Ventures, will develop a business plan that evaluates needs for campgrounds, identifies potential sources of funding through cost-sharing partnerships, and proposes finance options to address an estimated $70 million funding gap for campground upgrades in California’s recreation rich Eastern Sierra.

Oregon Coast Salmon Restoration Environmental Impact Fund Feasibility — $140,000 to Quantified Ventures to assess the feasibility of structuring an EIF to finance an estimated $24 million in salmon restoration projects along the Oregon coast. Oregon coast coho salmon are imperiled due to disconnected and degraded habitat. Stakeholders are collaborating on cross-boundary approaches to salmon recovery and watershed health, but significant funds are needed to support restoration efforts. The feasibility assessment will quantify price-measurable project outcomes and evaluate the potential of payors to reimburse investors for project work. This includes government cost savings from culvert maintenance, support for fisheries, improved water quality, and private dairy farm cost savings from improved road infrastructure. 

Mount St. Helens Recreation Infrastructure Environmental Impact Bond Feasibility — $127,000 to the Mount St. Helens Institute (Washington). The Institute, in collaboration with Quantified Ventures, will explore the feasibility of an outdoor recreation Environmental Impact Bond (EIB). Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument currently lacks overnight accommodations, which limits local economic impact and tourism spending, the visitor experience, and educational opportunities. Monies from the EIB would be used to transform the Coldwater Visitor Center from a day-use site to an energy-efficient, educational, and memorable multi-day experience for youth and adult visitors.  

Wildfire Resilience Insurance Product — $125,000 to The Nature Conservancy, to demonstrate that ecological forestry practices at scale will lower the price of insurance, which can make premium savings available to finance ecological forestry.  The Nature Conservancy will use an ecological forestry project in the Tahoe National Forest in California to quantify commercial insurance price and availability benefits to asset or land owners.  Funds will support data collection, quantification of insurance price and availability benefits from ecological forestry, insurance modeling, and development of first ever wildfire resilience insurance pilot products which take into account the severe wildfire risk reduction benefits of ecological forestry practices.

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (Washington) Mountain Loop Highway Environmental Impact Bond Feasibility — $125,000 to Quantified Ventures to assess the feasibility of leveraging outcomes-based financing to finance improvements to recreation infrastructure in the National Forest. The Mountain Loop Highway provides visitors with access to camping, boating, historic sites, wilderness, and more than 200 trail miles. The forest infrastructure was not designed to support current demand, which negatively impacts user experience and biophysical resources. The feasibility study will quantify and price measurable project outcomes and evaluate the potential of outcome payors to reimburse investors as project activities are completed. 

Exemplary Forestry Investment Fund — $120,000 to the Maine Mountain Collaborative to develop a timber investment fund to address two challenges: declining public/private funding for land conservation in Maine, and declining forest conditions necessary for healthy ecosystems. The goals are to increase stocking of the forest for improved habitat, high-value forest products, and carbon sequestration while providing acceptable returns to investors. This grant is being matched by an anonymous private foundation. 

Financing Kentucky White Oak Restoration — $118,000 to the American Forest Foundation, a national conservation organization, to explore outcomes-based financing to support white oak restoration in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest and adjacent private and family-owned lands. White oak is a cornerstone species that provides important wildlife habitat and valuable wood products. It is the preferred wood for aging bourbon. Current management programs for white oak are insufficient to meet future environmental and economic demands. Funds will support a feasibility assessment that quantifies measurable impacts, identifies potential payors for long-term white oak management, and establishes a monitoring protocol to ensure desired project outcomes. 

 # # #

For more information, contact:

Peter Stangel,  404-915-2763,
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (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-rich communities —

Marcus Selig, 720–437-290, 
The National Forest Foundation works on behalf of the American public to inspire personal and meaningful connections to our National Forests. By directly engaging Americans and leveraging private and public funding, the NFF leads forest conservation efforts and promotes responsible recreation. Each year the NFF restores fish and wildlife habitat, facilitates common ground, plants trees in areas affected by fires, insects and disease, and improves recreational opportunities. The NFF believes our National Forests and all they offer are an American treasure and are vital to the health of our communities —

Nathalie Woolworth, 202-281-8511, 
The Conservation Finance Program at the USDA Forest Service National Partnership Office (NPO) works to increase and unlock new sources of funding and financing to support agency priorities, with a focus on return-driven investment opportunities that engage private capital by aligning environmental, social and financial outcomes —

Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Awards 2020 Grants

New projects continue mission to restore and conserve sensitive forest ecosystems and wetlands

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

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 23, 2020)

Bethesda, MD, and Greenville, SC- The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (the Fund) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2020 grants in the total amount of $500,000. The projects funded will help protect a total of 3,322 forested acres and conserve ecologically sensitive bottomland forests in the coastal regions of Virginia and North Carolina.

Including those announced today, the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund has awarded 20 projects totaling almost $2,500,000 in grants over the past five years. An estimated 27,850 acres will be protected when these projects reach completion. The forests conserved as a part of the Fund help clean drinking water, purify the air, buffer structures from storms, and provide habitat for many species of wildlife, while at the same time, providing jobs and economic opportunity for rural families and private landowners.

“As we have continued to grow across the U.S. Southeast, our commitment to the sustainability of the natural resources and communities that have made that possible has never been more important,” said Enviva Chairman and CEO John Keppler. “As such, we are dedicated to the health, growth, and future of the forests from which we source, the communities within which we operate, and to preserving the rich biodiverse ecosystems found here. The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is an important way to support on-the-ground conservation organizations to help us do just that.” The 2020 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund grant recipients include:

1. Three Creeks – Virginia Outdoor Foundation (VOF)

This project will support two separate contiguous tracts in Southampton County, Virginia totaling 1,139 acres and more than 43,000 feet of stream corridor. The properties, which will be held in conservation easement by VOF, are adjacent to “Three Creeks,” a tributary of the Nottoway River in southeastern Virginia.

2. Cape Fear Bottomlands – North Carolina Coastal Land Trust (NCCLT)

This project involves the purchase of two contiguous wetland tracts totaling 1,679 acres in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, North Carolina. Once purchased, NCCLT will offer them to the state of North Carolina to be managed by the Wildlife Resource Commission as game lands, open to the public.

3. Cross Swamp – Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU)

The purchase of 504 acres which lie in the ancestral territory of the indigenous Nansemond people of the Nansemond River, a 20-mile long tributary of the James River, will support multiple conservation plans in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Nansemond plan to own and manage the property as a cultural resource.

“While we know that strong forest markets are critical to keeping forests healthy, we also recognize there are places of high conservation value that need to be preserved and protected,” said Endowment CEO Carlton Owen. “We continue to be impressed by the quality of projects put forth by these organizations, and know that they will support long-term conservation, enhancement of biological diversity, and ecosystem sustainability within the coastal communities of North Carolina and Virginia.”

# # #

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 permanently. Administered by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects in North Carolina and Virginia. The next grant cycle will begin in late 2020. To learn more about the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, please visit

About the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities

The US 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. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at

For more information, contact:

Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, (205) 792-8650

New Member Added to Board of Directors and Continues Tradition of Canadian Presentation

Chris McIver Joins Endowment Board

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

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 8, 2020)

Greenville, S.C. – The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) announced today the election of Chris McIver, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, West Fraser to its Board of Directors. Mr. McIver’s service is effective immediately.

Since inception, per the terms of the Softwood Lumber Agreement 2006 (SLA) between the U.S. and Canada, the Endowment has been required to have a non-voting Canadian liaison appointed by the Canadian government.  The Endowment has always opted to elect the representative to full Board membership.  Although the SLA expired in 2015, the Endowment has continued to enjoy Canadian representation.  Jim Farrell, appointed as liaison in 2010, continues to serve on the Board.

“In keeping with the spirit of the SLA, the Endowment’s Board has modified its Bylaws to reflect expiration of the SLA, but at the same time with a commitment to retain one or more Canadian members, so as to best advance our overarching mission to ‘ultimately benefit the North American forest industry,’ said Endowment CEO Carlton Owen. “Our Canadian neighbors and colleagues play a critical role in the health and future of the greater forest sector.  Without doubt, given his expertise, experience, and tremendous passion, Chris will be an invaluable addition to our Board.”

Mr. McIver joined West Fraser in 1991 and has held various sales and operations positions in the organization’s solid wood, pulp and paper, and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) groups. He was appointed Vice President, Sales & Marketing for West Fraser in February 2016, and is based in Vancouver, British Columbia (B.C.). In addition to holding various roles within industry organizations, he is currently a Director for the Canada Wood Council, Chair of U.S. WoodWorks, and a member of the Forestry Innovation Investment B.C.’s advisory council. Chris holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and is married with two children.

“Canada and the U.S. have much in common, especially the respect and love we have for our forests and the many products and benefits they yield.  I have long admired the mission and vision of the Endowment to partner with both the public and private sectors in support of forests and forest communities,” said McIver.  “It is a great honor to be elected to its Board, and I look forward to contributing to the important work in the company of such an exceptional group of professionals.”

Click here for a complete list of Endowment Board members.


For more information contact:  Carlton N. Owen, CEO, 864-233-7646,

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:

CARES Act and Paycheck Protection for Timber Harvesters and Haulers

Help Under the CARES Act

We at the Endowment wanted to ensure that those who have been challenged by economic events — long before COVID-19 arrived on the scene — have access to pertinent information about the CARES Act.  We’ve put together this brief three-minute video as well as links to resources that are extremely time sensitive. 

As we face these troubling and uncertain times, please know that we at the Endowment continue to look for ways that we can partner with you to ensure a brighter future in what we believe will truly be the Century of Forests and Forest Products.

Additional Pertinent Resources:

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