Endowment Rolls-out Check-off Study as Phase Two of Project Concludes

The U.S. Endowment hosted a meeting in Seattle on September 21st where a broad cross section of forest industry leaders from Canada and the U.S. gathered to drill down on learnings from the Endowment’s study on the potential for commodity check-offs (see related story dated August 22, 2008) to aid in keeping forests in forests and to promote family-supporting jobs in forest-reliant communities.  The session was highlighted by a panel of check-off experts from the beef, blueberry, mango and potato industries as well as the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

Against the most uncertain and turbulent times in more than a half-century, the gathering ended with strong support for an industry Blue Ribbon Commission to over the next 18-24 months study and craft the details of a commodity check-off that could be considered by the wood products industry as a means to “grow the market pie” of environmentally-preferable, sustainably produced wood products to aid not only in achieving Endowment objectives of sustainable forestry and vibrant forest reliant communities but also in taking a leadership role in addressing global climate change.  “We’ve played a catalytic role in doing the important research and getting it before a cross-section of industry leaders,” said Endowment President Carlton Owen.  “At this point we anticipate that industry will assume full control of the process going forward to craft a check-off for consideration as a tool to address important outcomes.”  In wrapping up the Seattle workshop, Owen noted that the Endowment had done that which others couldn’t or wouldn’t to tee-up the work – a role uniquely suited to a not-for-profit.

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