Atop Rotary Peak | Youth Outdoors

Sunday, October 07, 2018

On September 9th, laughs and foreign languages were heard from the top of Loveland Pass, 11,991′ above sea level. The group was full of high school students from across the world, from Peru to Germany, and Rotarians from the Denver-Metro area.

 

 

The Rocky Mountain Rotary Youth Exchange allows international students to partner with Rotarians in Denver and other cities across the U.S. to live with three seperate host families over a nine month period.

 

 

“Our daughter was involved with the program during her gap year between highschool and college,” explained one of the host couples. “She loved her experience in Chile, so we couldn’t wait to host a student from another country and give them the opportunity of seeing what high school is like for an American student.”

 

 

 

The hike on September 9th took place on the trail atop Loveland Pass and finished up on Rotary Peak. After the hike concluded, the group gathered on the Divide for lunch and conversation. The students might not have spoken the same language, but the smiles seen in the outdoors are universal. Learn more about the hike here:

 


 

Our Future Forests: Four Ways the Outdoor Recreation Community Can Help

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Our Future Forests: Four Ways the Outdoor Recreation Community Can Help

By Bruce Ward and Brian Kelleghan

When wildfires devour our forests the entire outdoor recreation community suffers: hikers, hunters, anglers, kayakers, mountain bikers, four-wheelers, campers, snowmobilers, skiers, birdwatchers, mountain climbers, and even people who just like taking scenic drives. Severe droughts and the increasingly hotter and longer summers have led to more frequent and catastrophic wildfires. While efforts to safeguard our forests depend greatly on national and state policies, individuals can help protect our shared cathedrals of conifers and the surrounding natural environment most of us enjoy.

Here are four things you can do to help save the forests and watersheds that all of us in the outdoor recreation community love and cherish:

1. Advocate for increased funding for U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and their sister agencies so they can reduce the number of catastrophic wildfires before they start. All these agencies have been grossly underfunded for years and likely will remain so in this era of record federal deficits.

2.Educate  yourself. Learn why our land management agencies must thin the forest – that is, remove dead wood and even live trees. Understand, too, when the agencies set controlled burns they are mimicking nature and the natural process to clear away overgrowth that ignite and feed huge wildfires.

3.Volunteer. The agencies need help restoring landscapes and watersheds after devastating wildfires occur. You can help plant trees, clear trails, and educate homeowners, campers, and other forest users about fire prevention and mitigation. Support organizations like the Boy and Girl Scouts who dedicate thousands of volunteer hours every year.

4. Support funding sources that help our forests. The National Forest Foundation’s Skier Conservation Fund provides millions of private sector dollars with matching federal funds to assist land managers working with volunteers. Lottery dollars can be directed to fund recreation and conservation efforts. Your philanthropic donations can be directed to the volunteer organizations that are helping get work done on the ground.

We in the outdoor recreation community – regardless of how we choose to enjoy the forests – are not helpless. We have a voice, we have votes. We need to take action.

Mr. Ward is the founder and President of Choose Outdoors, based in Denver and serves on Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Council and is chair of the Mile High Rotary Club Youth Services Committee

Mr. Kelleghan is the owner of Bison Designs, a Mountain View District and Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America and Vice Chair of Choose Outdoors.

 

A Camping Trip with Denver Interact Club

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

 

This past June, the Choose Outdoors team partnered with the Denver Mile High Rotary to take 8 students on a trip to Estes Park, CO for a weekend full of camping, hiking, kayaking, and exploring.The weekend started on Saturday morning when the students piled up their things and made their way up to the Estes Park KOA.

 

The first day included a trip up to the top of Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road, which reaches a grand total of 12,183 feet high. The road, still covered in snow, brought gusts of wind that differed dramatically from the 80-degree weather down in town.


 

 

Next up, the group made their way down to the Cascade Falls Trail Head. The hike was roughly 2 miles, and included a spectacular view of the Rockies from the waterfall. The peaceful rocks perched on top of the waterfall made a perfect place to sit and enjoy a snack and soak up the view!

 

 

Afterward, the group made their way back to town to hang out at the KOA, and ended the night with a bonfire. The next morning, the group set out to the Estes Park Marina to end the trip canoeing on Lake Estes.

 

 

Even though some of these students have grown up Denver, few of the Interact students have ever had a chance to enjoy the mountains that surrounded them. Choose Outdoors and the Denver Mile High Rotary was honored to help support new experiences in the outdoors. Learn more about our summer camping trip in the video below:


 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Remembering Jeff Lowe

Friday, August 31, 2018

This past weekend, the beloved and talented climber Jeff Lowe passed away in Fort Collins, CO at the age of 67. Jeff was known for always challenging the status quo, and pushing boundaries when it came to climbing. He was most known for his solo climb on the forbidden north face of the Eiger in the Swiss Alps. We want to thank Jeff Lowe for his contributions to the evolution of the outdoor industry, and his legacy that will live on.


Two years ago, we had the chance to speak with Jeff Lowe and his longtime partner, Connie Self, on the journey of becoming a climber and an influencer in the outdoor industry. Their motto? “Do the best you can, with what you’ve got, from where you are, right now.” Read more of their story in our original article here.

 


 


 

Check out Jeff and Connie’s film, “Metanoia.”

 


 

Choose Outdoors signs support letter for Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program extension

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Choose Outdoors joined partners across industries in the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Coalition, sending a letter to the Farm Bill Conference Committee in support of extending the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. The letter appears in full below.

 


Dear Chairmen Roberts and Conaway and Ranking Members Stabenow and Peterson:

The undersigned organizations commend the House and Senate for highlighting the importance of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) by adding improvements to the program in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. We respectfully request the conference committee ensure an extension and increased authorized level of funding for CFLRP in the final Farm Bill.

Forests provide half our nation’s water, support millions of jobs, store carbon, produce timber, offer vast recreational opportunities, provide habitat to thousands of species, and generate billions of dollars in annual economic activity. Yet the health of our forests is in decline, with an area the size of Oregon in need of restoration on National Forest System lands alone (more than 80 million acres). Invasive pests and diseases, chronic drought, and increasingly expensive megafires jeopardize life and livelihood in rural and urban communities.

Overcoming these challenges requires an approach to federal forest management focused on large-scale, community-driven collaboration to increase the pace and scale of restoration, promote healthy forests, and protect the lives and well-being of communities and landowners. The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program is the Forest Service’s signature program that accomplishes these goals.

 

Since 2010, 23 CFLRP projects in 14 states have sold more than 2.5 billion board feet of timber; created $1.4 billion in local labor income; and improved 760 miles of trails for sports enthusiasts and recreation. CFLRP creates or maintains 5,400 jobs each year and has restored an area the size of Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks combined, all while deepening agency commitments to collaborative planning.

Extending CFLRP and increasing its authorized funding level will allow existing projects to complete implementation of their restoration plans, as well as allow for selection of new projects on forests in need of active management across the nation. With yet another extreme wildfire season confronting our national forests, firefighters, and communities, it is more imperative than ever that we maintain programs such as CFLRP to take a proactive and comprehensive approach to wildfire risk reduction and improved forest resilience.

We extend our appreciation to the Agriculture committee members and conference committee members from both chambers as they work to complete and pass a Farm Bill that will improve the health of our national forests for current and future generations. As the committee begins its work to reconcile these two bills, we urge you to extend this essential program through FY 2023 and increase the authorized funding level to $80 million annually in the final Farm Bill.

Download the PDF.
 


 


 

Senators intro bill to double forest restoration funding

Friday, May 11, 2018

 

(As posted on KTVZ.COM.) WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), announced the introduction Friday of legislation that would reauthorize and expand the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program.

 

 

According to a news release from Merkley's office, "This critical program, which helps fund collaborative and community-based forest management, has a proven track record of improving forest health, reducing wildfire risk, and supporting rural communities."

In addition to Merkley and Crapo, the legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jim Risch (R-ID), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Jon Tester (D-MT).

“Collaborative strategies to manage our forests have proven to be a win on many levels: thinning overgrown forests and creating better timber stands, better ecosystems, better fire resistance, more jobs and more sawlogs to the mills,” said Merkley. “I’ve seen firsthand in the Deschutes National Forest the valuable progress that happens when the community works together to manage our forests for the good of everyone. It’s better for everyone when our resources go towards job creation and wildfire prevention, not lawsuits.”

“I have long supported active forest management practices as they play a vital role in reducing the risk of wildfires and fire suppression efforts,” said Crapo. “Collaborative practices provide Idaho’s stakeholders with the tools necessary to improve forest health, encourage the responsible stewardship of our public lands and foster resilient, rural economies. Ensuring long-term reauthorization of the CFLRP will promote Idaho’s forest health.”

“As a sponsor of the original legislation that established the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, I know just how instrumental these collaborative efforts are to promoting the health of our forests and supporting jobs in rural communities,” Wyden said.

 

“As an Oregonian, and as a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I’m all too familiar with the significant threat that unhealthy forests pose to western states. By encouraging collaboration among stakeholders at the federal, state and local levels, this program plays a critical role in reducing fire risk, maintaining our forests and empowering rural communities in Oregon and across the country to tackle these challenges head on.”

“The collaborative model is vital in Idaho and has proven to help reduce the fuel load for wildfires, among other positive benefits for our communities,” said Risch. “Renewing this program is another necessary step toward bringing a wide array of interests together to create jobs in increased forest management.”

 

“In Colorado, collaborative forest projects support local jobs, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce hazardous fuels in critical watersheds. These projects—which bring together local governments, timber and utility stakeholders, and conservation groups—reflect the collaborative way Coloradans do business,” said Bennet, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources. “As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I’ll work hard to reauthorize this important program and ensure it receives robust funding.”

“The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program is a commonsense policy to keep our forests healthy and to prevent wildfires,” said Gardner. “This community-based approach recognizes the importance of local knowledge when it comes to forest management and ensures decisions are made with input from the people who live in and around our forests, and the success of the program on the Uncompahgre Plateau and along the front range of Colorado are a testament to this approach. This bipartisan legislation will allow this program to continue and I look forward to seeing it become law soon.”

“This bipartisan effort will support rural communities in New Mexico and across the country as they work to promote healthy forests and grow their economies,” Udall said. “New Mexico communities know too well the increasingly severe toll of wildfires, and that’s why I’m committed to supporting and enhancing common-sense solutions – like this legislation – that are proven to be effective in wildfire prevention. Collaborative approaches to forest management help mitigate and prevent wildfires while engaging local communities and creating jobs for the future.”

“Montana’s Crown of the Continent is home to one of the most successful collaboratives in the nation,” said Tester. “This bill will ensure conservation and timber projects, like the Crown, can continue to create jobs and protect landscapes for future generations. Reauthorizing the Restoration Program will strengthen our outdoor economy and build healthier forests across the nation.”

This bipartisan legislation would extend the program through 2029, and expand its reach by doubling authorized funding from $40 million to $80 million per year.

 

To date, 23 CFLRP projects in 14 states have sold more than 2.5 billion board feet of timber; created $1.4 billion in local labor income; and improved 760 miles of trails for sports enthusiasts and recreation. On average, CFLRP creates or maintains 5,400 jobs each year at current funding levels – a number that would likely increase if funding is expanded, as proposed by today’s bill.

In addition, CFLRP has reduced the risk of megafires on more than 2.9 million acres. Since its enactment in 2009, CFLRP has a proven track record of success in managing forests to increase forest health, mitigate wildfires, and support rural economies and local voices. CFLRP requires various local stakeholders to collaborate, resulting in stronger relationships on the ground, better projects, and a decreased risk of conflict and litigation.

 

Friday’s legislation is supported by a broad cross-section of the timber industry, rural economic development entities, and environmental organizations, including Sustainable Northwest, Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, Collins Pine Company, Ochoco Lumber, Vaagen Bros Lumber, Avista, The Wilderness Society, American Forests, Society of American Foresters, Pinchot Institute, Forest Business Network, Blue Mountains Forest Partners, Lake County Resources Initiative, The Forest Stewards Guild, Siuslaw Institute, Wallowa Resources, Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition, The Lands Council, Western Environmental Law Center, Grand Canyon Trust, Mt. Adams Resource Stewards, The Watershed Center, Salmon Valley Stewardship, Western Landowners Alliance, The Coalition for the Upper South Platte, Choose Outdoors, Western Slope Conservation Center, and Western Colorado Progress.

 

“The CFLR program is a proven model that has extended collaborative forestry on millions of acres, reducing the risk of harmful wildfires while boosting the health of our treasured American forests and the communities that rely on them for strong economies,” said Kameran Onley, The Nature Conservancy’s director of U.S. Government Relations. “The Nature Conservancy is pleased to support this bipartisan bill and urges its timely enactment.”

“Improving forest health and providing good-paying jobs in our community are at the core of our business,” said Bruce Daucsavage, president of Ochoco Lumber Company. “The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program has sustained jobs at our mill, brought diverse stakeholders together, and resulted in significant restoration on the Malheur National Forest. Stable, long-term funding from programs like CFLRP has also provided the certainty we need to justify increased private investments in our operation. Continuing this program is critical.”

We commend the bipartisan sponsors of this legislation for recognizing the clear benefits the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program provides to our National Forests and rural communities,” said Dylan Kruse, policy director at Sustainable Northwest.

“From reducing wildfire risk, to supporting rural businesses, to improving wildlife habitat and trails for recreation, this program does it all. To date, CFLRP has restored a forested area larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks, combined. It generates outsized impacts, leverages millions of dollars in private resources, and has brought together diverse stakeholders in a way that no other program does. Extending and expanding CFLRP so these successes can be replicated is an easy call and should be a top priority for anyone who cares about the health and well-being of our National Forests and communities that depend on them.”

“The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program is an innovative program that helps restore landscapes and sustain local businesses in the rural West,” said Karen Hardigg, director of the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition. “The multi-year funding structure and required collaborative process are essential ingredients of CFLRP that help the Forest Service meet their commitment to shared stewardship.”

The legislation was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and the senators said they will be working to include it in the 2018 farm bill.

 

 

 


 

Rocky Mountain PBS to air Colorado and Oregon episodes

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Rocky Mountain PBS announced that it will air repeat showings of both episodes in the America's Forest with Chuck Leavell series. Tune in the following dates and times:

May 3 from 7:00-7:30 p.m. - Oregon

May 5 from 10:30-11:00 p.m. - Colorado

May 6 from 5:00-5:30 p.m. - Colorado

May 7 from 10:30-11pm - Oregon

Both episodes also are available online for streaming. View them online here: Oregon and Colorado.

Rolling Stones Chuck Leavell, Governor Hickenlooper, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke Join Local Thought Leaders to Deliberate our National Forests

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

DENVER, Jan. 31, 2018 – Chuck Leavell may be best known as the keyboardist and musical director for The Rolling Stones, but he is also an educated and enthusiastic forestry advocate, conservationist and tree farmer, and host of the new national TV series, America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell. He was joined by national and local thought leaders at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Jan. 24 for the debut of the new episode featuring stories and public benifits from Colorado’s forests, along with robust discussion about challenges, opportunities and innovations happening within our forests.

“The search for solutions to the problems of sustainable growth, climate change and energy conservation is increasingly inspiring thought leaders to look at one of America’s finest resources -- our forests,” said Leavell. “Whether for building or for recreation, our forests are good for the economy and for the spirit.”

Timed to coincide with the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, conversations on forest health, management and utilization took place with Leavell, Governor John Hickenlooper, Tony Tooke, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, and Chris Topik, Director of Forest Restoration at The Nature Conservancy. Following the premier of the Colorado episode, an intimate fireside chat was hosted by Leavell alongside Brian Ferebee, Regional Forester for the Rocky Mountain Region of U.S. Forest Service; Jim Neiman, President and CEO of Neiman Enterprises; and Paige Lewis, Deputy Director/Director of Conservation of the Colorado chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

While diverse constituencies were represented, a number of consistent themes emerged including the crucial importance of public-private partnerships in shared stewardship of our lands, implementing proactive and innovative strategies to manage our lands versus reactive, and the opportunities that are available through maintaining multi-use lands.

“Public and private partners across the country are working hand-in-hand to both care for and create sustainable solutions using wood from our forests,” said Bruce Ward, president of Choose Outdoors. “This important work is vital to a healthy forest environment that provides world-class recreation, wildlife habitats and scenic beauty.”

Following the premier, the Colorado episode first aired on Rocky Mountain PBS and is now online for viewing at americasforestswithchuckleavell.com. The episode includes segments on the therapeutic value of our forests, the importance of forests to our water supply and the innovative ideas on turning the wood from forests devastated by the mountain pine beetle epidemic into musical instruments, skis, snowboards and sustainable building applications.

The series is produced by Choose Outdoors and 42 Degrees North Media and the Colorado episode was made possible with support from the USDA Forest Service, Denver Water, Colorado State Forest Service, Intermountain Forest Association, El Pomar Foundation, Rocky Mountain PBS and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

For more information on the series, to host a showing of an episode or to get involved in future episodes, visit americasforestswithchuckleavell.com, follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or contact Bruce Ward, President of Choose Outdoors, at bruceward1@gmail.com or 303- 917-1476.

Photos from series available here and from the event available here.

Oregon to Provide the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

 

Sweet Home, Ore., January 19, 2018 – The Willamette National Forest announced that Oregon has been selected to provide the 2018 United States Capitol Christmas Tree. A gift from the Willamette National Forest and the State of Oregon to the people of the United States, the tree will be displayed on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., with a public tree-lighting ceremony in early December 2018.

Every year since 1970, the U.S. Forest Service has provided the Capitol Christmas Tree. This year, the Capitol Christmas Tree will be cut from the Sweet Home Ranger District. Seventy smaller companion trees will also be sent to Washington, D.C., to decorate government buildings and public spaces this December. Additionally, Oregonians will contribute 10,000 handmade ornaments, to be created throughout 2018. These ornaments will celebrate the state’s cultural history and people, landscapes, natural resources, and fish and wildlife.

The theme for the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree is “Find Your Trail!” in recognition of two 2018 anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail.

“We are thrilled to be delivering the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, and we invite all Oregonians to be a part of this special experience throughout 2018—from making an ornament to exploring the Willamette National Forest with family and friends—in search of the perfect tree to send to Washington, D.C.,” said Nikki Swanson, Sweet Home District Ranger, Willamette National Forest.

“There is a rich history of Oregon’s forests providing for the needs of Oregonians. The Willamette National Forest provides recreational opportunities, fishing, hunting, mushroom harvesting, firewood, minerals, wood products and, of course, Christmas trees. We hope this yearlong Capitol Christmas Tree event inspires people to explore the National Forests across Oregon, and to ‘Find Your Trail,’” she continued.

The last time Oregon was chosen to provide the Capitol Christmas Tree was in 2002, when a tree was selected from the Umpqua National Forest.

“We are very honored to have been chosen to provide the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, and to share some of our state’s incredible beauty with the rest of America,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “Majestic, towering conifers have long stood as an icon of Oregon’s magnificent forests. This tree will symbolize our rich natural resources, our deep Native American heritage, and the people of Oregon, who are known for their independent spirit, innovation and love for our state’s diverse landscapes.”

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree’s Journey to Washington, D.C.

In November 2018, a modern-day wagon train carrying the Christmas tree and ornaments will begin its eastward journey from Sweet Home, following the path of the Oregon Trail in reverse. The wagon train will make stops in a variety of communities across Oregon and the country before arriving in Washington, D.C. The travel route, schedule and special events will be available at www.capitolchristmastree.com.

The Willamette National Forest has partnered with Choose Outdoors and Travel Oregon for the Capitol Christmas Tree project, and a host of partners, sponsors, and volunteers will contribute funding and thousands of hours to help make ornaments and transport the tree from Oregon to Washington, D.C.

Opportunities for Public Participation Throughout 2018

Oregonians and Oregon visitors are invited to participate in U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree activities around the state during 2018, including helping to find the perfect tree to go to Washington, D.C.

  • Find the tree! The public is invited to hike and drive the Willamette National Forest—outside of the City of Sweet Home—to look for the perfect Capitol Christmas Tree. To submit a potential candidate tree, GPS the location, snap a photo, and send the submission to capitolchristmastree2018@gmail.com, or drop your information off at the Sweet Home Ranger District Office. Guidelines: The perfect tree is 65 to 85 feet in height with a conical shape that is visually pleasing from all angles. The tree must reside on U.S. Forest Service land in the Sweet Home Ranger District, preferably close to a road that will allow for access for a semi-truck and cranes to harvest the tree. Submission deadline: May 2018. Don’t forget to share your adventures on social media (Facebook and Twitter) with the #USCapitolChristmasTree, #FindYourTrail and #ItsAllYours hashtags.
  • Join an ornament-making event or host your own. Ten thousand handmade ornaments will adorn the Capitol Christmas Tree and the 70 smaller companion trees. There will be ornament-making events throughout Oregon in 2018. The first event will take place on January 20 at the Boys & Girls Club in Sweet Home (1 p.m.; 890 18th Ave.). The Willamette National Forest also invites schools, churches and community groups to contribute ornaments. There will be templates and instructions posted on the website and social media. For a schedule of events and further details, visit www.capitolchristmastree.com.
  • See the Capitol Christmas Tree as it travels along the Oregon Trail in November 2018. The travel route, schedule and special events will be available at www.capitolchristmastree.com.

For more information: Capitol Christmas Tree website, www.capitolchristmastree.com

To get involved: Capitol Christmas Tree email, capitolchristmastree2018@gmail.com


 

Colorado Premier of America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell to air Jan. 25 on Rocky Mountain PBS

Thursday, January 18, 2018

 

DENVER, Jan. 18, 2018 – Colorado takes the stage in the next episode of the new national TV series, America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell. The series explores challenges, opportunities and innovations happening in America’s forests, and the Colorado episode will air on Rocky Mountain PBS on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. MST.

Chuck Leavell may be best known as the keyboardist and musical director for The Rolling Stones, but he is also an educated and enthusiastic forestry advocate, conservationist and tree farmer. As host of the new series, Leavell serves as the on-camera guide, travelling across the country to interview people who are passionate about the gifts we get from our woods and exploring creative solutions to complex problems impacting this important natural resource.

“The search for solutions to the problems of sustainable growth, climate change and energy conservation is increasingly inspiring thought leaders to look at one of America’s finest resources -- our forests,” said Leavell. “Whether for building or for recreation, our forests are good for the economy and for the spirit.”

Colorado is featured in the second episode in the series and includes segments on the therapeutic value of our forests, the importance of forests to our water supply and the innovative ideas on turning the wood from forests devastated by the mountain pine beetle epidemic into musical instruments, skis, snowboards and sustainable building applications.

Using the episode as inspiration, conversations on forest health, management and utilization with voices that represent a variety of perspectives will take place during a special film premier event on Jan. 24 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. A private VIP reception will kick off the event and include remarks from Leavell, Governor John Hickenlooper, Tony Tooke, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, and Chris Topik, Director of Forest Restoration at The Nature Conservancy. At 7 p.m., the public is invited to a showing of the Colorado episode and an intimate fireside chat hosted by Leavell alongside Brian Ferebee, Regional Forester for the Rocky Mountain Region of U.S. Forest Service; Jim Neiman, President and CEO of Neiman Enterprises; and Paige Lewis, Deputy Director/Director of Conservation of the Colorado chapter of The Nature Conservancy. A limited amount of tickets is still available to the film premier and fireside chat by RSVP’ing online at /tiny.cc/chuckleavallcolorado.

“Public and private partners across the country are working hand-in-hand to both care for and create sustainable solutions using wood from our forests. This important work is vital to a healthy forest environment that provides world-class recreation, wildlife habitats and scenic beauty,” said Bruce Ward, president of Choose Outdoors. “Through the stories in the series and special events, we hope to educate and inspire citizens to become everyday champions.”

The series is produced by Choose Outdoors and 42 Degrees North Media and the Colorado episode was made possible with support from the U.S. Forest Service, Denver Water, Colorado State Forest Service, Intermountain Forest Association, El Pomar Foundation, Rocky Mountain PBS and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Visit americasforestswithchuckleavell.com, follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or contact Bruce Ward, President of Choose Outdoors, at bruceward1@gmail.com or 303- 917-1476.

About the Series

America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell captures the breadth of our nation’s woodlands – both public and private. It features different stories that demonstrate how important forest habitats are to the well-being and economic health of communities across the country. The series will present individuals who embody this passion for the woods, from architects to artists, from climbers to carpenters. Visit americasforestswithchuckleavell.com.

About Chuck Leavell

Chuck Leavell is one of a kind. His musical career includes work with The Rolling Stones, but also with Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band, John Mayer and a host of others. AND he is acclaimed as a conservationist, environmentalist, author and tree farmer. After studying forestry by correspondence and doing much of his homework while riding a tour bus with the Fabulous Thunderbirds in the mid ‘80s, Chuck and wife Rose Lane Leavell turned her family’s plantation near Macon, Ga., into what has become a textbook and award-winning tree farm. He is also the co-founder of The Mother Nature Network www.mnn.com, the world’s leading environmental website.

About the U.S. Forest Service

The Forest Service is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that manages 193 million acres of land, roughly the size of Texas. The Rocky Mountain Region includes 17 national forests and seven national grasslands located in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. For more information, visit www.fed.fs.us.

About Choose Outdoors

Choose Outdoors is a national nonprofit, “Connecting All Americans to our Public Lands through Recreation.” It encourages the appreciation of, and support for, all public lands. Visit Chooseoutdoors.org to learn more.

About Rocky Mountain Public Media

Rocky Mountain Public Media is Colorado’s largest statewide, member-supported, multimedia organization and the parent company of Rocky Mountain PBS and KUVO Jazz. Rocky Mountain Public Media reaches 98% of the state’s citizens through television, radio and digital platforms. A non-commercial media organization by and for the people of Colorado, we create high quality local and multimedia content through Regional Innovation Centers in Denver, Colorado Springs, Durango, Grand Junction and Pueblo. Our enriching journalism, educational and cultural programming connects and engages citizens for lifelong impact. RMPBS, started in Denver in 1956 as Colorado's first public television station, is now a statewide television network, with stations in Denver (KRMA), Pueblo/Colorado Springs (KTSC), Steamboat Springs (KRMZ), Grand Junction (KRMJ) and Durango (KRMU). Visit us rmpbs.org/home.

About The Colorado State Forest Service

The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) provides professional forestry assistance, wildfire mitigation expertise and outreach and education to help landowners and communities achieve their forest management goals. The CSFS is a service and outreach agency of the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University and provides staffing for the Division of Forestry within the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. For more information, visit www.csfs.colostate.edu or follow the agency online via Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.