Press Room

National public awareness campaign encourages Americans to get involved with their National Forests and Grasslands.

National Forest Foundation Launches National Public Awareness Campaign to 'Protect America's Backyard'

PSA to Debut on Discovery Communications' Destination America Network on July 16

MISSOULA, Montana – July 10, 2012 – The National Forest Foundation (NFF) today announced the launch of its first national public awareness campaign to encourage Americans to get involved in the enjoyment and restoration of the nation’s forests and grasslands.

The campaign features a public service announcement, which will make its national primetime premiere on Discovery Communications’ Destination America network at 8:00 pm ET on Monday, July 16. In a PSA created by Discovery Communications, the talented children of the Public School 22 Chorus from Graniteville, Staten Island, highlight the importance and urgency of caring for America’s national forests. The choir performs “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane.

“Our nation’s public lands face unprecedented challenges to their health, diversity and vitality– from wildfire to invasive species,” said Bill Possiel, president of the National Forest Foundation. “With at least two-thirds of Americans living within 100 miles of these public lands, we all must get involved to protect and restore our national forests to ensure benefits for future generations.”

Metolius River, Ponderosa Pine

“As the only television network dedicated to celebrating the people, places and stories of the United States, Destination America is the ideal channel to partner with the National Forest Foundation to promote our country’s cherished natural landscapes,” said Marc Etkind, SVP content strategy, Destination America.  “Summer is the perfect time to remind all Americans to get out and, not only enjoy, but also care for these stunning public lands.”

America’s National Forest System encompasses 193 million acres of public lands, 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands. At least 62 million acres of the National Forest System are in need of restorative action due to damage from wildfire, insects, disease and natural disasters.

Not only do the national forests provide quality recreation opportunities but also fresh water, clean air, while they sequester carbon and support the economies of thousands of communities. The National Forest System is the largest single source of water in the continental United States and one-third of the U.S. population, 123 million people, rely on water from national forests. Los Angeles, Portland, Denver and Atlanta receive a significant portion of their drinking water from national forests.

To address conservation challenges across our National Forests, the NFF initiated its $100 million Treasured Landscapes campaign, developing restoration projects in 14 ecologically important and iconic locations, while supporting hundreds of community-based conservation projects across the country.  The Treasured Landscapes sites include:

  •    Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
  •    Illinois’ Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie near Chicago  
  •    Colorado’s Pike National Forest and White River National Forest
  •    Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest
  •    California’s Angeles National Forest and Tahoe National Forest
  •    Arkansas’ Ozark National Forest
  •    Florida’s Ocala National Forest
  •    Arizona’s Coconino National Forest
  •    Utah’s Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
  •    Washington’s Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
  •    New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest
  •    Idaho’s Panhandle National Forests

These 14 sites are places where communities and individuals can get even more engaged with National Forest stewardship. To learn more about the National Forest Foundation’s work and become a Friend of the Forest, visit www.friendsoftheforest.org.

About the Public School 22 Chorus (http://ps22chorus.blogspot.com/ )

PS22 Chorus was formed in the year 2000. The Chorus is comprised of an ever-changing group of 5th graders from a public elementary school in Staten Island, New York. PS22 is NOT a school for the arts, and the chorus is not a magnet program. PS22 Chorus features ordinary children achieving extraordinary accomplishments – musically and otherwise. PS22 Chorus has been featured on Oprah, Nightline, Good Morning America, The Today Show, MTV, Sesame Street, and, perhaps most notably, at the 2011 Academy Awards, closing the show with a stunning rendition of "Somewhere of Over The Rainbow."

About Destination America (www.destinationamerica.com)

Destination America is the first network to celebrate the people, places, and stories of the United States. The inclusive network targeting Adults 25-54 is available in 59.5 million homes, emblazoning television screens with the grit and tenacity, honesty and work ethic, humor and adventurousness that characterize our nation. Destination America features travel, food, adventure, home, and natural history, with original series covering such diverse subjects as American food favorites, mysteries like Jesse James’ lost fortune and Area 51, American heroes and innovators, as well as iconic landmarks and wonders like Yellowstone National Park and the Everglades. Destination America is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world’s #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in 200 countries and territories.

NFF Specialists

Mary Mitsos

Vice President, Conservation Programs 
NFF conservation programs, community-based conservation
406-830-3351 
mmitsos@nationalforests.org

Wes Swaffar

Ecosystem Services Program Manager
Tree-planting & Carbon Capital Fund programs 
406-830-3356 
wswaffar@nationalforests.org

Vance Russell

Director, California Program 
NFF programs in CA 
530-758-2609 
vrussell@nationalforests.org

Adam Liljeblad

Director of Conservation Awards
Grants and grant programs
406-830-3357
aliljeblad@nationalforests.org