WNC Forest Products Cooperative Marketing Project

Welcome to the website for the WNC Forest Products Marketing Project!

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RootCauseLogoSustainable consumerism isn’t just about shopping at the neighborhood tailgate market. It involves every part of our lives. Including buying furnishings made from locally-grown wood. Root Cause is a regional initiative to raise awareness of the local forest products industry among responsible consumers.

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STORIES of WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA Released!

WNC Forestry Success Stories is a video highlighting the success of the WNC Forest Products Cooperative Marketing Project.  The video was created by Turner HD Media, in cooperation with NCSU Department of Horticultural Science.

WNC Forestry Success Stories showcases the diverse group of forest enterprises participating in the Western North Carolina Forest Products Cooperative Marketing Project and can be seen below and on our youtube channel:  WNC Forest Products youtube channel

WNC Forestry Success Stories

Click HERE for the eBook version of WNC Forestry Success Stories.

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The Western NC Report Card on Forest Sustainability available.  On October 12, 2011 the USDA Forest Service unveiled the publication and is posted online at www.wncforestreportcard.org  and is also available in print format.  The Report Card is a cooperative effort between UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) and the Forest Service and demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of economic, ecological, biological, and social information relevant to the region.

A reception was held October 18, 2011 at UNC Asheville Ramsey Library to celebrate WNC Forest Research and Sustainability.  The evening highlighted the Report Card, role of the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center in forest sustainability, and acknowledged the Land-of-Sky Regional Council for administration of the WNC Forest Products Cooperative Marketing Project.  Jim Fox, NEMAC, and Erica Anderson, LOSRC, accepted gifts and a certificate of appreciation from Susan Fox, Assistant Director for Research at the Forest Service’s Southern Research Station, and Danny Lee, Director of the Forest Service’s Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center.

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ABOUT THE PROJECT

In 2009, theUSDA Forest Service – Southern Research Station was awarded nearly $2 million of federal stimulus funds to support forest product businesses in western NC.

Land-of-Sky Regional Council was awarded this funding through a competitive process to implement the Western North Carolina Forest Products Cooperative Marketing Project.  As a result of the project, 14 Western North Carolina businesses received grants through a competitive process to expand into new product lines, improve marketing, and provide workforce training.  The goal is to ultimately provide an estimated total of 141 jobs.  Funding these businesses directly contributes to job growth in WNC, but also to the overall supply chain of forest products.  Each of these businesses currently purchases timber and non-timber forest products directly from landowners, handcrafters, local sawyers, artisans, and gleaners.  Through this project, the amount and variety of products and services being produced throughout WNC will increase as businesses expand and diversify.

WNCForestProducts.org contains information about the project, workshops, cooperating organizations, and the businesses receiving support and their projects. These companies will use the funds to expand and diversify their businesses while providing an estimated total of 141 jobs to under- or unemployed forest producers.  For project background and our approach, please see the Plan of Work.

Look for this sign throughout the region that recognizes project funding.


Guiding Principles for the Project:

• Provide short-term jobs to the forest industry in a way that generates lasting benefits to the industry.
• Use a “bottom-up” planning and economic development approach guided by forest producers and by forest product consumers.
• Look first to forest producers as staff to carry out this project.
• Use organizations within WNC to manage this project both to capitalize on their knowledge of local forest and market issues and also to strengthen long-term relationships between forest producers and their support organizations.
• Build the capacity of forest producers to sustainably pursue a variety of forest enterprises in a way that brings benefit to rural communities.

For additional questions or assistance, please contact Erica Anderson at 828-251-6622 ext. 132