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.