NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, February 22, 2017
Forest Innovations has announced a series of partnerships with schools, artists and artisans. Additional collaborations are under development.
Founded September 2016, the goal of Forest Innovations is to transform 25 million dead and dying trees into educational opportunities for California students, and quality products for people and programs, worldwide.
Our partners are schools (public and private, traditional and charters), world-class artists, and wood-working artisans. We are also working on public infrastructure, tiny homes, and limited-term, supportive housing.
“My goal is to provide more options for folks with bug-killed trees than they currently have,” stated John Clerici, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer of Forest Innovations. “Once you realize the potential for silver linings, the opportunities are almost endless. We are a matchmaker between trees and end users.”
The prolonged lack of rainfall throughout the Sierra Nevada Mountains lowered the immune systems of tens of millions of pine and other soft wood trees. As a result, tiny bark beetles, a natural predator in the forests, have flourished.
The recent rainfall is too late for hospice trees. Tens of millions of trees have perished and many more are past the point of recovery. Experts estimate more than 100 million trees will ultimately be affected by the bark beetle infestation and other drought-related causes.
Local governments, the State of California, the Federal government, utilities and owners of large tracts of private lands have implemented large-scale operations to begin reducing the inventory of dead trees. These trees are potential hazards should they fall on people, properties, utilities and infrastructure. The same trees are also possible fuel for future forest fires.
“There is a large role for social enterprise to compliment the great work being done by public agencies and utilities,” added Matt Boyer, Chief Executive Officer of Forest Innovations, and the other Co-Founder.
Boyer, a former long-time Trustee of the El Dorado County Board of Education, and former El Dorado County transportation executive, has an extensive record solving community issues throughout California. “Many organizations are recognizing the potential to salvage millable lumber from hospice trees for education and other purposes. We are testing each of these concepts in the next 6 months in partnerships with schools, artists, and artisans.”
Following the “proof of concept” phase, Forest Innovations will unveil large-scale programs throughout the affected tree mortality regions.
Current partners include Westwood Charter School in Lassen County, and Sparrow Gallery in Sacramento. Sparrow Gallery will host a month-long show in 2018 focused on creations made from repurposed trees. Black Oak Mine Unified School District in Georgetown, California has also committed to a campus-based program in Fall 2017.
Additional partnerships are being finalized with a university solar home team, artisan furniture makers, and additional schools.
El Dorado County Supervisor Brian Veerkamp loves the idea. “I wish them great success. It is an obvious win-win solution to a problem that cannot have too many people working to solve.”
“Ultimately, I would like to see a vibrant logging industry reintroduced to the Sierra Nevada that will not only provide a source of jobs and income, but will also show the environmental benefits of a more actively managed forest,” concluded Clerici.
Forest Innovations is the latest enterprise of Community Services2050. The Community Services (CS2050) mission is simple – to ensure that California remains a vibrant, sustainable State for the next generation. Forest Innovations is staffed by Matthew C. Boyer & Associates.