Ottawa, Canada/Jackson, MS – The United States Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc., (Endowment) today formalized incorporation as a not-for-profit to receive $200 million in funds to promote sustainable forestry and to assist timber-reliant communities.

The grant that will capitalize the Endowment was made under the terms of the recently signed Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) between the United States and Canada and announced in October. The $200 million earmarked for the Endowment is the largest of three funds designated under the SLA.

“It took much heavy lifting by many folks on both sides of the border to reach the historic softwood lumber agreement between our two great nations,” US Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins said. “And now the creation of this endowment represents another dramatic step forward in this process as it recognizes the need to protect and sustain our natural environment while continuing to enhance economic opportunities for citizens on both sides of the border.”

The eleven-member board of directors will be Chaired by Dick Molpus, President of Molpus Woodlands Group, LLC of Jackson, Mississippi. Molpus, in announcing the Board said, “Since initially being contacted by The White House in mid-2006, we’ve been working to assemble an experienced, distinguished board. We all see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build something from the ground-up that will leave a lasting legacy.”

The Endowment’s Board met via conference call today to among other things, approve bylaws, establish operating procedures and hire its first President & CEO. For the CEO role they named, Carlton Owen, a proven leader with experience in both the forest products industry and not-for-profit management. Mr. Owen of Greenville, SC, was founder of The Environmental Edge, LLC, that for the past six-years has worked to “bring business and the environment together” to benefit both.

“I’m honored and excited about the opportunity at hand,” said Owen. “The caliber of people assembled and the chance to work together with diverse interests from all across the nation in partnership to ensure that our working forests continue to yield a wide array of benefits to society is truly humbling,” he continued.

Over the next few months the Endowment’s Board and staff will work to establish operating procedures that will ensure the greatest leverage possible and yield not just charitable investments, but also systemic and lasting change.

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc. (Endowment) will be headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina. For more information visit the Endowment’s website at

Background on the SLA

Trade between the U.S. and Canada is more than one-half trillion dollars per year. Softwood lumber accounts for about three percent of Canadian exports. With the softwood lumber agreement in place essentially all of that trade is dispute-free.

On September 12, 2006, United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Canadian Minister for International Trade David Emerson signed the Softwood Lumber Agreement in Ottawa. Since that date, both countries worked to amend and clarify certain aspects of the agreement in order for it to enter force on October 12, 2006.

Disbursement of duty deposits collected since 2002, approximately $4.3 billion will be returned to the exporters of record; $500 million goes to the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, the petitioners in the antidumping and countervailing duty cases; $50 million will be provided to a bi-national industry council; and $450 million will be disbursed to promote meritorious initiatives. The three organizations identified to receive funds are: United States Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc. [$200 million]; American Forest Foundation [$150 million]; and Habitat for Humanity International [$100 million].

Background on Directors of the US Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc.

Dick Molpus, (Chairman) of Jackson, MS, is President and Owner of Molpus Woodlands Group, LLC, which manages for investors more than 500,000 forestland acres across five southern states. In addition to his private sector experience, Mr. Molpus served three terms as Mississippi Secretary of State and was the Democratic nominee for Governor in 1995. While Secretary of State he served as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State. A native of Philadelphia, MS, Molpus holds a B.A.A. degree from the University of Mississippi.

Peggy Clark of Hot Springs, AR, serves as Owner and Managing General Partner of Clark Timberlands LLLP, and oversees family owned pine and hardwood timberlands in eight counties in South Central Arkansas. Ms. Clark has been exceptionally active in policy issues related to family forest ownerships having served for more than 25 years on the Arkansas Forestry Commission; Past President of the Forest Landowners Association; and Past President Arkansas Forestry Association. She has been listed among Arkansas’ Top 100 Women from 1995 until the program ended in 1999.

David Dodson is President of MDC, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Chapel Hill, NC, that helps institutions and communities reduce the barriers that separate people from opportunity. MDC works to move people from the margin to the mainstream of the economy. He is also a trustee of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation that works on poverty and community development issues across the south. Prior to joining MDC in 1987, Mr. Dodson was Executive Director of the Cummins Engine Foundation and Director of Corporate Responsibility for the Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, IN. A native of Washington, DC, he is a graduate of Yale University with a B.A. in Architecture and Urban Policy and a Master of Public and Private Management.

Cynthia Mildred “Mil” Duncan is Director of the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH. The Institute supports interdisciplinary research on families and communities, including community, environment and development issues especially in small cities and rural communities. She was formerly Director of Community and Resource Development at the Ford Foundation. Her book, “Worlds Apart: Why Poverty Persists in Rural America,” received the 2001 American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best book in Community and Urban Sociology. Dr. Duncan holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Sociology from the University of Kentucky and a B.A. in English from Stanford University.

Mack L. Hogans of Bellevue, WA is CEO of Mack Hogans LLC Consulting Services. In 2004, he retired from Weyerhaeuser Company after a 25-year career. His last assignment, Senior Vice President, included responsibility for Corporate Communications; Environment, Health & Safety; Government Affairs; Federal & International Affairs; Law & Land Title; E-business; and Procurement and Supply Management. He was also Chair of the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation. Mr. Hogans holds a B.S. degree in forestry and natural resources from the University of Michigan; a M.S. from the University of Washington; and is a graduate of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program.

Chuck Leavell of Dry Branch, GA, is a world renowned and respected musician and solo artist. A former member of the Allman Brothers Band in the early 70’s and leading his own band Sea Level through the late 70’s into the early 80’s, Leavell has been principal keyboardist for almost 25 years with the legendary Rolling Stones. At the same time, his work with Charlane Plantation, the award-winning tree farm that he and his wife, Rose Lane Leavell, have created near Macon, GA, has earned Mr. Leavell a growing reputation as one of the nation’s foremost conservationists. The Leavell’s have twice been named Outstanding Tree Farmers for Georgia and were selected National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year in 1999. Mr. Leavell is author of three books including, “Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest,” “Between Rock and a Home Place” (an autobiography), and “The Tree Farmer,” his recently released children’s book. Mr. Leavell holds an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Mercer University.

Duane McDougall, Lake Oswego, OR, served as President and CEO of Willamette Industries from 1998 until 2002. He is a CPA who joined Willamette after five years with Arthur Andersen. At Willamette, Mr. McDougall served roles in finance, vice president-controller, chief accounting officer, vice president of Western Building Materials and Executive Vice President of Building Materials. He currently serves on a number of corporate boards including West Coast Bancorp, Cascade Corporation, InFocus and Boise Cascade. Mr. McDougall holds a B.S. from Oregon State University.

Bruce Miles, College Station, TX, is Director Emeritus of the Texas Forest Service. Over a 38-year career with the agency, Mr. Miles rose through the ranks from assistant forester to director of the large agency. He received his forestry training at Texas A&M University and Louisiana State University. He was an officer in the U.S. Field Artillery. Mr. Miles served as President of the National Association of State Foresters in 1985 and President of Forest Farmers Association in 1990. Since retiring he has been active in Habitat for Humanity where he serves on the Board of Directors. He is also a docent at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library.

Jim Rinehart, Principal of R&A Investment Forestry of San Francisco, CA, has been involved in the institutional forest investment industry since its inception in 1984, having predicted its rise while serving in an academic role at UC Berkeley. He has held positions as Director of Portfolio Strategy for the Hancock Timber Resource Group; Vice President and Director of Timberland Investments for GATX Capital Corporation; and Director of Conservation Investments for Huber Resources. For the last five years his focus has been on the creation of a viable interface between financial timberland investors and Conservation. He currently serves on the Board of Cascade Timberlands. Mr. Rinehart holds three degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, including a Master of Forestry, an MBA and a B.S. in Zoology.

Karl Stauber lives in St. Paul, MN, where he serves as President and CEO of the Northwest Area Foundation, a position he has held since 1996. The Foundation, with assets of $500 million, makes resources available to help communities reduce poverty in MN, IA, ND, SD, MT, ID, WA and OR. Before joining the Foundation he served as Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics with the US Department of Agriculture and Deputy Undersecretary for Policy and Planning, Small Community and Rural Development. Dr. Stauber received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from Union Institute as well as a certificate from the Harvard Business School Executive Program. He holds a B.A. in American Studies from the University of North Carolina.

David Thorud of Seattle, WA, retired after more than 20 years as an administrator with the University of Washington. In addition to 18 years as Dean of the College of Forest Resources, he served two non-consecutive terms as Acting Provost of the University for a total of four and a half years. Dr. Thorud’s outstanding professional record spans both academia and government. He worked in three capacities with the USDA Forest Service – Assistant Director, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station (Asheville, NC); Leader of the Hydrology Staff (Washington, DC) and Director, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station (Broomall, PA). Dr. Thorud’s academic career included faculty positions at the University of Minnesota and University of Arizona. He holds three degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Carlton Owen of Greenville, SC, has for 30 years been at the forefront of conservation innovation. A forester and wildlife biologist, Mr. Owen holds a B.S. degree in forestry and M.S. in wildlife ecology from Mississippi State University. 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 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 Wal-Mart in a $35-million, 10-year commitment that has already conserved 400,000 acres in the U.S.