FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 10, 2021)

Greenville, SC — The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment), in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory, announces the awarding of $2.4 million in grants to accelerate the use of nanocellulosic materials across various industries to use in a range of applications.

The partnership is funding ten projects ranging from $50,000 to $500,0000 and lasting one to three years.

Cellulosic nanomaterials are made by breaking down renewable wood from trees into particles less than 1/1000th the thickness of a human hair. These materials are as strong as steel, yet only one-fifth the weight. They can be used to protect, enhance, and strengthen many commercial materials.

“The Endowment is working to keep our forests healthy, valuable, and intact. We believe markets are essential to forest conservation, as markets help bring forests additional value. Cellulosic nanomaterials are a new market with tremendous economic potential, along with solutions squarely aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change.” said Michael Goergen, Endowment Vice President, Innovation and Director, P3Nano.

Cellulosic nanomaterials have a wide range of uses and are low cost, sustainable, and abundant. They are offering multiple industries sustainable solutions that can strengthen materials, develop safer materials and even reduce carbon footprints.

The following is the projects awarded by the Endowment and the Forest Service:

AwardeeProject
Oregon State University, Western Pulp Products, and FPLUtilizing Cellulose Nanofibers (CNF) and agricultural waste to expand market opportunities for molded pulp products
The University of Texas at Arlington, Performance BioFilaments Inc, US Concrete, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and FPLApplication of CNF as Durability Performance Enhancing Additives for Cement and Concrete Industry
University of Maine, Nyle Systems LLC, Pleasant River Lumber, and FPLDevelopment of cellulose nanocrystal (CNC)/polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) hybrid moisture selective membranes
Rice University, Oceanit, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and FPLCellulose Nanocrystal-Protein Nanocomposite Coating for Perishable Fruits
Temple University, UW-Madison, TAKTL LLC, and FPLApplication of Cellulose Nanomaterials in 3D printed Sustainable Building Composites
ACAPCO, Birla Carbon, Pirelli, Continental, Yokohama, plus others, and FPLFrom Trees to Tires: Nanocellulose Dispersion Composite™ (NDC) Scale-up for On-Road Tire Trials
Beth Cormier, Qi Wang, Xiao Zhang, Sefik TuncFrost Protection of Tree Fruits by CNF – Cost Optimization and Field Trials for Commercialization
Tom Parker, JoAnn Parker, Qinglin Wu, Dan WallaceTigerBullets-Nano: Cellulose Nanomaterials Mediated Fluid Additive for Energy Industry
Vireo AdvisorsEnvironmental health and safety of cellulosic nanomaterials
University of WisconsinLife cycle assessment and economic analysis of cellulosic nanomaterials

Since 2013, the Endowment and Forest Products Laboratory have partnered through the P3Nano project to accelerate the commercialization of cellulosic nanomaterials. The goal is to develop sustainable and environmentally-friendly forest products that can be used in a variety of industries and commercial goods, including those where forest products have not always been considered a material of choice.

###

Media Contact

Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator. (864) 233-7647; brandon@usendowment.org

About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

The U.S. 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 www.usendowment.org.

GREENVILLE, SC (May 12, 2021) – Delie Wilkens has joined the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) in the newly created role of Program Analyst. Wilkens comes to the Endowment from the U.S. Forest Service – Southern Research Station where she was a research fellow. In her role there, she was involved in assessing timber sales on the National Forest System, which gave her direct experience in solving relevant issues for today’s forest industry.

Wilkens is originally from Floyd, Virginia, where she spent most of her childhood exploring 80 acres of family forested land.

She holds a Master of Science degree in Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation from Virginia Tech and an undergraduate degree in Anthropology & Geography from Appalachian State University. She also served in the Peace Corps in La Pastora, Paraguay as an Agriculture & Forestry Extensionist where her primary role was supporting several women’s committees with technical knowledge of small-scale sustainable agriculture.

“Though my positions have ranged from different climates, institutions, and sectors – my primary job has always been providing support for the people who work hard for the success and conservation of the environment,” said Wilkens. “This is the same role I hope to play for the U.S. Endowment and I am pleased to begin that work here.”

“We are excited Delie has joined the Endowment team,” said Pete Madden, Endowment President and CEO. “Her background and experience with the U.S. Forest Service and the Peace Corps are a unique combination that will prove valuable in supporting and advancing our work. She will be a true asset to the team.”

###

Media Contact

Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator, 864-233-7646, brandon@usendowment.org

About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

The U.S. 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 www.usendowment.org.

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities Launches TimberHauling.com

New National Buyer’s Group Will Help Independent Truckers and Haulers Come Together as One Market to Save Money and Operate More Efficiently

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (May 3, 2021)

Greenville, SC — The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) today announced the official launch of TimberHauling.com — a national buyer’s group that provides savings on products and services to nearly ten thousand independent small trucking and hauling businesses.

The TimberHauling.com platform will help the sector move together as a unified market rather than thousands of independent producers. The timber harvest and hauling sector of the forestry industry is the strained link in the U.S.‑based forest products value chain. This sector is continually dealing with a range of challenges, including inclement weather, mill quotas, labor shortages, high fuel and insurance costs, and high equipment costs – both upfront and ongoing.

For a modest annual membership fee, members enjoy discounts and savings on parts and services. TimberHauling.com gives loggers national buying power and strength they have never had to shore up and further unify the sector.

“The Endowment focuses on opportunities when others can’t or won’t. Developing a national platform that will save money for independent loggers and haulers will make them more cost-competitive and efficient,” said Ewell Smith, Executive Director, Carolina Loggers Association, and project lead.

This group also strengthens the capacity of state and regional associations to deliver services. The program is being piloted first in partnership with state logging associations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

“The Endowment is using our sector-wide vision, risk capital, and bridge-building competencies to build an ‘Amazon-like’ model to drive savings to individual timber hauling firms,” said Pete Madden, President & CEO of the Endowment. “TimberHauling.com is part of our Initiative 2020 Vision that mandates strategic and targeted investments to support the development of traditional forest products markets to retain and grow existing forest-based economies.”

A wide variety of companies have already joined the platform: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company; MHC Kenworth; Setliff Law P.C.; Schwab Brothers Hydraulics; TCS Fuel Cards; North American Supply; and Cadence Petroleum Group. More companies and services are expected to be added as TimberHauling.com grows.

###

For more information contact:

Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator, 864-233-7646, brandon@usendowment.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.

Grant Program Opens to Address National Forest Challenges Through Innovative Finance

Deadline for proposal submissions is June 30, 2021

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 27, 2021)

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

Today, the Innovative Finance for National Forests (IFNF) grant program opened its next round of solicitations for program funding.  The IFNF grant program supports the development and implementation of innovative finance models that leverage private and public capital other than US Forest Service (USFS) appropriations to support the resilience of the National Forest System. Grants are funded by and administered by the USDA Forest Service (USFS) National Partnership Office (NPO) and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) in collaboration with the National Forest Foundation (NFF)

National Forests across the United States provide important services to the American public, including clean and abundant drinking water, clean air, forest products, recreation opportunities, and rural jobs. However, the scale of unmet stewardship needs to address severe wildfire risk, watershed health and deferred maintenance on recreation infrastructure, across millions of acres, exceeds the capacity of existing appropriations or philanthropic funds. In 2021, the IFNF program will emphasize the three focus areas of wildfire resilience and recovery, sustainable recreation infrastructure and access, and watershed health. IFNF grants will support the development and implementation of innovative finance models through three project types: pilot projects, scaling projects, and research and development projects.

“The National Forest System faces massive unfunded backlogs of work that exceed the capacity of our annual appropriations,” said Jacqueline Emanuel, Director, USDA Forest Service National Partnership Office. “The IFNF grant program supports outside the box thinking in addressing these big challenges. It expands our work with savvy partners to demonstrate proof of concept for replicable models with potential to unlock new sources of capital at a scale that matches the challenge.”

“This program is designed to attract public and private capital to some of our National Forests’ most challenging issues, such as wildfire resilience and recovery and watershed health,” said Pete Madden, the Endowment’s President and CEO.  “By joining with our partners to fund these grants, we support those who are seeking fresh approaches and creative solutions to these challenges. We commend the Forest Service’s National Partnership Office for their leadership on this approach.”

“Our National Forests are a priceless resource for all citizens,” said Mary Mitsos, President and CEO at the NFF. “They provide rural jobs, wood, water, and other forest products, outstanding recreation opportunities, habitat for fish and wildlife—the list goes on and on. This new partnership and grant program will attract private sector funding that will help the Forest Service and their partners address pressing management challenges.”

More information and the Request for Proposals can be found at www.ifnfgrants.org. For details regarding the application for this program, visit https://www.usendowment.org/grant-rfps/.

# # #

For more information contact:
Peter Stangel, peter@usendowment.org; 404-915-2763,
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

Nathalie Woolworth, nathalie.woolworth@usda.gov; 202-281-8511
The USDA Forest Service National Partnership Office (NPO) Conservation Finance Program leads the way in positioning the Forest Service to leverage sources of capital other than appropriations to support priority projects by developing finance models with potential for replication and building agency and partner expertise in innovative finance.

Spencer Plumb, splumb@nationalforests.org; 928-961-2486
Founded by Congress in 1991, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) works to conserve, restore, and enhance America’s 193-million-acre National Forest System. Through community-based strategies and public-private partnerships, the NFF enhances wildlife habitat, revitalizes wildfire-damaged landscapes, restores watersheds, and improves recreational resources for the benefit of all Americans. To learn more, visit us at http://www.nationalforests.org.  

The Year in Review: A Clearer Vision 2020

2020 Annual Report Highlights a Year of Success and a Glimpse into the Future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 1, 2021)

Greenville, S.C. – The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) officially announced the release of its 2020 annual report today. The report, titled “A Clearer Vision 2020,” is a vivid illustration of what the Endowment has done over the past year and demonstrates a vibrant path forward.

“We are excited to issue this annual report,” said Endowment President and CEO Pete Madden. “The Endowment partners with amazing organizations and works on so many worthwhile projects each year. This is our chance to showcase the Endowment’s work to the world and provide a look at where we’re headed in the future.”

Some of the highlights from this year include the introduction of new programs, including the utilization of blockchain technology to combat illegal logging, while also giving an update on some of the Endowment’s most noteworthy programs, like the Sustainable Forestry and the African American Land Retention Program (SFLR) and the continued work of Restoration Fuels to turn low-value biomass into an environmentally-friendly, renewable alternative to coal.  

This is the first annual report produced after the Endowment’s historic leadership transition from founding President and CEO Carlton Owen to current President and CEO Pete Madden.

“We are fortunate to be in the prime position that we are in,” said Madden. “Carlton’s stewardship of the Endowment since its founding is a testament to his leadership. We thank him for everything he has done to make the Endowment the success it is and look forward to the journey ahead.”

“This year has been filled with numerous challenges, many of which were brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Endowment was able to continue to find paths to success with its programs. In the end, the Endowment was able to not only maintain, but to thrive,” said Mark Emmerson, Endowment Chair and Chairman of California-based Sierra-Pacific Industries. “This annual report gives us an opportunity to reflect on the Endowment’s 2020 successes while also showing our clear vision for what’s next.”

To view the report, please click here.

For more information contact: Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator, 864.233.7646, brandon@usendowment.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

New Tool Aims to Help Forest Owners with Fire Management

Beta Version of Southeast FireMap Available for Testing and Comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 31, 2021)

Greenville, SC – Forest owners and natural resource agencies now have a new tool at their disposal to improve forest health through prescribed burns and by helping manage wildfire risk has been released in its beta version.

The SE FireMap is the first large-scale attempt to map fire history on private lands, which account for nearly 80 percent of land ownership in the southeast, and provides coverage for public lands as well. This innovative tool uses remote sensing to map all detectable fires over the past two decades and aims to improve future fire management in urban and rural communities. It will track both prescribed fires and wildfires in portions of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas – prioritizing coverage of the historic longleaf pine range.

Through a user-friendly format, this historical data will enable land managers to better target future prescribed burns, helping ensure a more comprehensive, landscape-level approach to forest health.

This beta version of the SE FireMap was developed by Tall Timbers Research, Inc., with support from The Longleaf Alliance and a technical oversight team representing federal and state agencies, non-profit conservation groups, the Longleaf Partnership Council, and the Southeast Partnership for Planning and Sustainability. North Carolina State University helped build the portal that houses the SE FireMap. NRCS provided key funding for the project through an agreement with the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment).

“Equipping forest owners with the latest technology to improve forest health will benefit their financial bottom line and provide benefits to society, including reduced wildfire risk,” said Pete Madden, the Endowment’s President and CEO. “We commend NRCS, Tall Timbers, The Longleaf Alliance, and all the partners who contributed to this initial effort. As landowners and partners test and ground-truth the beta version of the Southeast FireMap, an improved tool will emerge that will be available for wider use.”

The SE FireMap version 1.0 is presented as a Google Earth Engine product and data sharing is available for conservation and community planning purposes. To see the mapping products or request data sharing, please visit the Wildland Fire portal at landscapepartnership.org. New users will be required to register on the portal to access the web map.

To provide an optimum user experience for the tool, partners are encouraged to use the SE FireMap and provide feedback on its benefits and limitations. SE FireMap version 2 is anticipated in 2022

The Southern Fire Exchange is hosting an informational webinar April 16, 2021 to give an introduction for this program and give a demonstration. To register, click here.

 ###

For more information about the SE FireMap, please contact Peter Stangel, Chief Operating Officer 864.233.7646, peter@usendowment.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

Recently, the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) hosted a forum with the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission Coalition titled “Building Resilience: Wealth Creation and Regional Readiness for a Federal Commission in the South.” More than 200 participants joined the webinar to engage in an early discussion on how the SCRC could assist and build communities, transitioning them from distressed to resilient, if the Commission were to begin operations.

Speakers for the event included eight community, academic, policy, and government leaders from the southeast, including Alton Perry from the Roanoke Electric Cooperative, representing a Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Network (SFLR) site.

The SCRC recently received a federal appropriation of $1 million—higher than awarded in previous years. However, the Commission lacks a Federal Co-Chair, which is needed for it to begin and conduct its work. The Coalition recently wrote, and more than 100 partners signed, a letter to President Joe Biden requesting that he make this crucial appointment.

“One of the Endowment’s primary charges is community building,” said Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President at the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. “This Commission seeks to replicate the success of other regional commissions and authorities, like the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority, that have sought to provide economic opportunities in the areas they serve, and we support this effort.”

“Many people are working tirelessly to promote meaningful impact in the lives of those individuals and families who reside in the areas this Commission was created to serve,” said Ava Gabrielle-Wise of the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission Coalition. “This forum was a needed step to have essential dialogue and continue the forward progress we, as a Coalition, are currently seeing. We will continue to work with policymakers to activate this Commission so that we can bring overall, long term economic prosperity for the citizens it will serve.”

Areas covered by the SCRC are in the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

To view a recording of the forum, please click here. For more information about the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission Coalition, please visit their website at https://scrcc.org/.

Start typing and press Enter to search