Press release - Madison, WI (Oct. 9, 2020) – National TV program America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell travels to Wisconsin in the latest episodes of the multi-part series. Using the Wisconsin episodes as inspiration, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin will host a virtual premiere event on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. CST. This online gathering will bring together thought leaders to engage in a rousing conversation on the critical importance and value of well managed public and private forest lands in Wisconsin.
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.”
In this two-part TV special, Leavell explores the forests of Wisconsin, fittingly on a Harley Davidson. Part one finds Leavell exploring Wisconsin’s Northwoods, taking viewers on a journey through Minocqua and Paul Bunyan country, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest alongside US Forest Service Job Corps members, Tomahawk for an up-close look at ruffed grouse, and the Menominee Tribal land for a lesson in sustainable forestry practiced for many generations.
In part two, Leavell heads to the southern half of the state to experience the urban wood movement in Milwaukee, behind-the-scenes at the nation’s premiere wood research facility, the USDA Forest Products Laboratory, in Madison, the biodiversity of the Baraboo Hills via kayak on the Wisconsin River and hiking through an oak forest, and wrapping the Wisconsin adventure at a boisterous event in Suamico, Log-A-Load for Kids, where hundreds of kids from several elementary schools get to try their hands at being foresters for the day.
During the Oct. 21 virtual premiere event, Leavell will be joined by Tony Ferguson, Director of the Forest Products Laboratory for the USDA Forest Service, Heather Berklund, Deputy Forestry Division Administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Buddy Huffaker of the Aldo Leopold Foundation and Henry Schienebeck, Executive Director of Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association. The event will be moderated by James Edward Mills, journalist, media producer and Community Partnership Liaison, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison along with Adena Rissman, associate professor of the Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Management in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Registration for the virtual premier and screening of the episodes is available online here. Links to attend the virtual premier event and to view the episodes will be emailed to all who register.
“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 Wisconsin episodes were made possible with support from the USDA Forest Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, Wisconsin Sustainable Forestry Institute, Ponsse North America, John Deere (McCormick), Red Wing Shoes, The Nature Conservancy, Aldo Leopold Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society, National Forest Foundation, Menominee Tribal Enterprises, Wisconsin Urban Wood, University of Wisconsin and Harley Davidson.
Visit americasforestswithchuckleavell.com to learn more and follow along on Facebook (@americasforests), Instagram (@americasforestswithchuck),and Twitter (@americasforests)
*Photos and short promo videos available at https://tinyurl.com/AFCLWIMedia. Please credit James Edward Mills for photography use.
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