GRANTOR: The USDA Forest Service’s Southern Research Station awarded a $1.974 million grant to the Land-of-Sky Regional Council (LOSRC) from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the Western North Carolina Forest Products Marketing Project to provide job growth and economic stimulus. The Southern Research Station is comprised of more than 120 scientists and several hundred support staff who conduct natural resource research in 20 locations across 13 southern states (Virginia to Texas). The Station’s mission is “…to create the science and technology needed to sustain and enhance southern forest ecosystems and the benefits they provide.” Learn more about the Southern Research Station at: http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/.
Land of Sky Regional Council (LOSRC)
LOSRC is a non-profit, voluntary association of local governments that manages regional projects and provides services to its members in the areas of planning, economic and community development since 1966. The Working Lands Planner at LOSRC is responsible for managing the WNC Forest Products Cooperative Marketing project. This includes working with staff, partners, stakeholders, communities, regulators and others to ensure full implementation of the Plan of Work, responsible and timely use of funds, ARRA compliance, monitors and approves expenditures and/or assures necessary activities and documentation have been completed before approving payments, develops and tracks work progress against plans, consults and/or negotiates with clients and adjusts plans and schedules. The project manager also develops and implements outreach strategies for educating the general public; prepares and distributes brochures; arranges advertisements in newspapers and on radio and television; maintains and/or contributes and continually updates information on the web site.
Erica Anderson, AICP, Working Lands Planner
office: 828.251.6622 ext. 132
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) was awarded $100,000 to provide assistance for marketing and forest enterprise development. The ASAP mission is to create and expand regional community based and integrated food systems that are locally owned and controlled, environmentally sound, economically viable, and health promoting. Many farmers own forest lands and some are forest products producers. ASAP is assessing market demand for specific products, incorporating forest products in their on-line database, and providing financial incentives for forest producer marketing efforts.
Charlie Jackson, Executive Director
Peter Marks, Local Food Campaign Director
Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center is receiving $100,000 to support the non-timber forest products industry. NCSU will guide elements of the project related to non-timber production. As described above for NCDFR, NCSU will provide a similar role for non-timber products including helping find producer participants, providing technical assistance to producers, serving on the technical committee, and reporting progress to LOSRC.
Dr. Jeanine Davis, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist
Dept. of Horticultural Science, NC State University, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center
Caroline Edwards, Non-Timber Forest Products Advisor
NC Division of Forest Resources will provide assistance for timber products. NCDFR is guiding elements of the project related to timber production. They provide technical assistance from their division while working with the groups of timber and non-timber wood producers assembled under this project. They also serve on the technical advisory committee for the project. They are intimately familiar with the forest industry in WNC and are accustomed to working with both forest producers and with forest-based businesses.
Michael Cheek, Western Assistant Regional Forester
Brian Schneider, Management Forester, DuPont State Forest