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 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, follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or contact Bruce Ward, President of Choose Outdoors, at or 303- 917-1476.

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