America's Forests with Chuck Leavell

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. CDT




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, please join us for a virtual premiere event on Wednesday, October 21 from 6:30 -7:30 p.m. CDT, where we will engage in a rousing discussion with forest experts, professionals, and enthusiasts on the critical importance of well managed public and private forest lands in Wisconsin.

Members of the panel include:

Chuck Leavell, host of America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell

Tony Ferguson, director of the forest products laboratory, USDA Forest Service

Heather Berklund, Chief State Forester, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Buddy Huffaker, president of The Aldo Leopold Foundation

Henry Schienebeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association

Adena Rissman is an associate professor of human dimensions of ecosystem management at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology.

The panel discussion will be moderated by James Edward Mills.

James Edward Mills is a journalist, media producer, and community partnership liaison at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

Links to view the two 27-minute Wisconsin episodes, as well as a link to join the event on October 21, will be emailed to participants upon registering. For optimal discussions, all participants are encouraged to view the episodes prior to the event.

Chuck Leavell

Chuck Leavell, host of America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell

Often on tour with The Rolling Stones, Chuck Leavell is both acclaimed as a rock-and-roll piano player AND as a conservationist 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 White Leavell turned her family’s plantation near Macon, GA., into what has become a textbook tree farm. Hugging one of his many trees, Chuck declares he’s fortunate to have three real passions in his life: “My family, my trees and my music.” He is also the co-founder of The Mother Nature Network, the world’s leading environmental website. Chuck will be our on-camera guide travelling across the country to interview people who are passionate about the gifts we get from our woods.

Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson, director of the Forest Products Laboratory, USDA Forest Service

Tony L. Ferguson became the station director of the Northern Research Station and Forest Products Laboratory in January 2016. Ferguson has been with the Forest Service since February 2006. Previously, he served as the director of the Forest Service’s northeastern area state and private forestry. Prior to his selection as area director, he was the director of minerals and geology management in the Forest Service’s Washington, D.C. office. He has also served as the acting director of lands and realty (Washington D.C.) as well as the deputy regional forester for the Alaska region. Additionally, he has more than 21 years of experience with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) serving in Washington, D.C., New Mexico, Wyoming, and Mississippi. While in the BLM headquarters office he held positions as chief of staff for the assistant secretary of interior for land and minerals, staff assistant to the assistant secretary, and deputy group manager for solid minerals.

Heather Berklund

Heather Berklund, Chief State Forester, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Heather Berklund began her career with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in 2000 after graduating from UW-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry and a soil science minor. She has served in numerous roles for the Division of Forestry starting with integrated field forester followed by several supervisory positions. She currently serves as the division’s deputy division administrator of field operations. In all her roles she has been very connected to serving and supporting Wisconsin’s forest industry and fire partnerships for the social, economic, and ecological values our forests provide.

Berklund grew up in the driftless area of Southwest Wisconsin but has spent the bulk of her career residing in the Northwoods. When she’s not talking with stakeholders and staff, you can find her engaged with the school and extracurricular activities of her two children, trying to produce vegetables amongst the competing wildlife, and just enjoying numerous outdoor adventures.

Berklund believes that while our forests and natural resources have many challenges ahead, the collaboration across partnerships, and our adaptability to changing landscapes and culture will help us continue to keep the importance of forest management in the forefront. She is honored to be representing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Division of Forestry for this exciting event to continue to showcase our great forest resources!

Buddy Huffaker

Buddy Huffaker, president & executive director, Aldo Leopold Foundation, Baraboo, Wisconsin

For over 20 years Huffaker has been instrumental in the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s effort to advance a land ethic. This includes stewarding the Leopold Shack and Farm National Historic Landmark and advocating for a conservation ethic through the documentary film Green Fire, translations of A Sand County Almanac, and other publications, presentations, and programs. Balancing the ecological, economic and cultural values of the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s own property and working with neighboring landowners on the 10,000-acre Leopold/Pine Island Important Bird Area has revealed the challenges faced by private landowners. In response, the foundation has developed My Wisconsin Woods, an innovative education program to target and encourage landowners to achieve their own management goals. Huffaker has brought his understanding of private landowner issues to the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee (FRCC), a federal advisory committee to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Forestry. Buddy has participated in three White House conferences on conservation and environmental education and is recognized as one of the leading voices on the important role for ethics to guide humanity's relationship with nature.

Henry Schienebeck

Henry Schienebeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association

Henry Schienebeck was a self-employed logger/trucker for 32 years prior to being named executive director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA) in 2008. GLTPA (formerly Timber Producers Association of Michigan and Wisconsin) is a non-profit organization representing over 1000 forest industry professionals in Michigan and Wisconsin where he leads the organization in its mission of “Protecting a Multiple Use Forest for Future Generations.” Schienebeck’s duties include oversight of the Forest Industry and Safety Training Alliance which provides Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) training for loggers as well as contract chainsaw safety training throughout the United States.

Schienebeck served as the first President of GLTPA until being appointed as its executive director in 2008. Currently Schienebeck serves on the Wisconsin Council on Forestry and serves on a variety of other forest industry related committees and boards including the Wisconsin County Forest Association, Trees for Tomorrow and The Camp Five Museum Foundation INC., Wisconsin transportation Task Force, WI Oversize, Overweight Committee, and Sustainable Resource Institute Board of Directors and is Chair of the American Loggers Council Legislative Committee.

Adena Rissman

Adena Rissman, associate professor of human dimensions of ecosystem management, University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Dr. Adena Rissman is a professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She leads the PIE lab: People, Institutions and Ecosystems. Her interdisciplinary research examines society, policy, and natural resources including the ownership and governance of forests. Rissman is collaborating with social and ecological scientists, conservation practitioners, and resource stakeholders on projects funded by the US Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. She is appointed to the Governor's Wisconsin Council on Forestry. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and previously worked in Forestry for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

James Edward Mills

James Edward Mills, Madison-based journalist and media producer, community partnership liaison, University of Wisconsin–Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

James Eduard Mills is a freelance journalist who specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving, and practices of sustainable living. He has worked in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, writer, and photographer. He is the author of the book “The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors” and the co-writer/co-producer of the documentary film An American Ascent. As a faculty assistant at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies James teaches a summer course for undergraduate students on diversity, equity and inclusion in outdoor recreation and public land management called Outdoors For All.

Presented in partnership with:

America's Forests with Chuck Leavell
Choose Outdoors
Forest Service Department of Agriculture
Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association
Forest Industry Safety & Training Alliance Inc.
The Joy Trip Project
McCoy Construction & Forestry
The Nature Conservancy
Red Wing Shoes
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

With support from:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Sustainable Forestry Institute, John Deere (McCormick), Aldo Leopold Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society, National Forest Foundation, Menominee Tribal Enterprises, Wisconsin Urban Wood, University of Wisconsin and Harley Davidson.