Carlton Owen, President and CEO of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment), today signed a master agreement with USDA Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. The Endowment and the Forest Service have collaborated on numerous projects since the Endowment’s creation in 2006. This new master agreement reflects the importance of this partnership and opens the door for expanded collaboration on a range of initiatives that are critical for the future of working forests.
”This agreement affirms the Endowment’s value as a trusted ally to the Forest Service. We complement each other’s mission, operations, and staff, and we both benefit in many ways from the partnership. By leveraging each other’s resources, we deliver more cost-effective, higher impact results to America’s forests and the millions of people who depend upon them,” said Owen.
The Forest Service and the Endowment have partnered on a number of projects over the years including forest health, plumbing the potential of biotechnology to address America’s burgeoning forest health challenges, bringing together the Canadian and U.S. forest sectors for international collaboration, reaching out to underserved landowners, wood-to-energy, conservation easements, and much more. In fact, the MOU comes within days of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s announcement of the latest collaboration between the two organizations – the establishment of a broad-ranging public/private partnership to advance creation and adoption of Earth-friendly nanomaterials produced from wood.
When commenting on outcomes of joint efforts Owen stated, “Our track record shows what can happen when federal efforts and dollars are matched from the private and NGO sectors.” He continued, “To keep our nation’s forests as forests and to keep them healthy we need robust markets, creative thinking and sustained collaborative efforts to tend these important resources. Our joint work brings new perspectives and funding to the Forest Service that will help us grow our economy, grow jobs in rural America, and ultimately, grow more and healthier forests.”
“The mission of the Endowment is to work collaboratively with a wide-range of 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,” said Owen.
“Agreements like this one help us bring change through the entire forest sector and make for a brighter future for our forests and all of us who depend upon them.”