U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities Announces Membership of the Forest and Wood Products Inclusion Council

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities Announces Membership of the Forest and Wood Products Inclusion Council


Greenville, SC – The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) announced today the membership of their recently formed Forest and Wood Products Inclusion Council, an initiative to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the forest sector. 

The Inclusion Council was formed to bring forest sector leaders together with experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to address racial and gender inequities in the sector. The Council includes representatives from public, private, not-for-profit, academic, and Indigenous organizations in the forest sector. Led by the Endowment, the initiative draws upon the expertise of Katie Fernholz at Dovetail Partners, Bethaney Wilkinson at the Diversity Gap, and Kelly Cooper at the Centre for Social Intelligence. Together, this group of sector leaders will work collaboratively within their spheres of influence and develop a National Action Plan that aims to establish a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture in the U.S. forest and wood products sector. 

“A bright future for the U.S. forest and wood products sector requires a diverse and inclusive workforce. This needed cultural shift will create long-lasting effects beyond the term of this project. When we foster the growth and professional development of underrepresented voices and perspectives, our sector can only strengthen and that, in turn, can benefit our people and our forests,” said Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President at the Endowment and co-chair of the initiative.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and its 2019 American Community survey states women account for just 21% of the U.S. forest sector, which includes forestry, logging, and manufacturing. Four percent are Native American, three percent are Black, and two percent are Asian. These percentages are even lower at the executive levels. To better compete in today’s global market and meet labor market demands, this must change. This Council will focus on collecting better data to understand DEI trends in the sector; attracting, retaining, and advancing underrepresented groups; and building awareness and access to create an equitable workforce and workplace.

“A diverse workforce is a critical component of our sector’s ability to confront the challenges facing our nation’s forests and improve the environmental and economic benefits they provide,” shares Shannon McCabe, Council Member.  “The data clearly shows a need for action, and I look forward to working alongside fellow Council members to establish a path toward a culture of inclusion and equity within the forest sector.”

Members of the Inclusion Council include:
Terry Baker, Society of American Foresters (Council co-chair)
Alicia Cramer, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Council co-chair)
Don Calloway, Enviva
Angela Coleman, USDA Forest Service
Sam Cook, North Carolina State University
Asia Dowtin, Michigan State University
Cody Desautel, Intertribal Timber Council
Kate Gatto, National Alliance of Forest Owners
Deb Hawkinson, Forest Resources Association
Rita Hite, American Forest Foundation
Jennifer Jenkins, NCX
Shannon McCabe, Association of Consulting Foresters of America
Colin Moseley, Green Diamond Resource Company
Tiffanie Starr, Timberland Investment Resources
Jennie Stephens, Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation
De’Etra Young, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS)


Members at the Inclusion Council’s initial meeting in Washington, DC, March 2022

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.

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