Working with Nature – The Century of Forests and Forest Products

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
3:30 pm
La Sells Stewart Center-C&E Hall

As the world’s population continues to grow it is more critical than ever that we adopt lifestyles -- government, industry and personally -- that work with and build on natural systems rather than against it.  Few natural resources have the breadth and depth of potential of that found in individual trees and entire forests to meet human needs while also ensuring quality of life.  In decades ahead we will begin to see a shift from chemical- and heavy metal-based materials to natural ones.  This shift should truly unlock a new era for forests and forest products.

For more than a decade Carlton Owen has served as President & CEO of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities – a $200 million public charity created under terms of the Canada/US Softwood Lumber Agreement 2006 – with a mission to keep forests as forests and advance family-wage jobs in rural, forest-rich communities.  Owen, of Greenville, SC, has for more than 40 years been at the forefront of conservation innovation.  For six years he led his consultancy, The Environmental Edge, LLC, in “bringing business and the environment together” to benefit both.  He is a former Executive Director of the Sustainable Forestry Board, Inc. and Vice President – Forest Policy, Champion International Corporation.  He has held positions with the American Forest Institute; American Forest Council; American Forest Foundation; Potlatch Corporation; and Mississippi Wildlife Federation.  Among his achievements is “Acres for America” – a first-of-its-kind program to off-set development acre-for-acre with conservation.  The program linked the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, where Mr. Owen served as Vice Chairman of the Board, with Walmart in a $35-million, ten-year commitment that has already helped conserve nearly 1 million acres in the U.S. and was recently extended for another 10 years and $35 million.  He serves on the Boards of Directors of privately-held SynTerra Corporation (SC); CEI Capital Management (ME); the North American Forest Partnership;, and is Vice Chairman of the Greater Greenville Parks Foundation.  A forester and wildlife biologist, he holds a B.S. degree in forestry and M.S. in wildlife ecology from Mississippi State University. In 2010 he was given the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.