MISSOULA, Mont. – Oct. 15, 2012 – The National Forest Foundation (NFF) today announced the winners of the Barrett Foundation Prize—an effort to encourage fresh, creative ideas regarding public lands stewardship. The contest challenged teams of university students to create business plans that reflect real opportunities for finding market-based incentives to address forest stewardship challenges on National Forest System lands.
A team from Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies will receive the $50,000 first-place prize for its business plan titled “The Deschutes Collaborative Conservation Fund—Sustainable Funding for a Restoration-Based Economy.” The Yale team’s plan proposes the formation of The Deschutes Collaborative Conservation Fund, which would help drive development of a restoration-based economy that rehabilitates Central Oregon’s forest products industry and promotes forest health.
The second-place prize of $10,000 will go to the team from Colorado State University (CSU) for “An Innovative, All-Lands Approach to Watershed Stewardship in Colorado.” The CSU business plan provides a structural framework to leverage public-private partnerships under development in the northern Colorado region and address priority areas of concern for the forests and the populations that depend on them for drinking water, flood control, recreational opportunities and other services.
“Our goal with the Barrett Foundation Prize was to challenge students to develop real world solutions that would satisfy the multiple goals of forest health, sustainable use and job creation,” explained Bill Possiel, president of the National Forest Foundation. “With the dramatic increase in catastrophic wildfires and pest infestations, it is imperative to forest health and community safety that we reduce risk through active forest management. A breakthrough, market-based solution could contribute significantly to risk reduction.”
The Barrett Foundation Prize was created by Craig Barrett, the former chairman and current vice chairman of the NFF Board of Directors, retired chairman and CEO of Intel Corporation, and articulate champion of the importance of education in maintaining American competitiveness in an increasingly global business environment.
“We asked for proposals that were innovative and realistic in meeting the dual standards of forest management and economic sustainability,” said Barrett. “The creative ideas brought forward not only met our requirements but seem to have a high probability of success in the marketplace. We congratulate the efforts of all the contestants and look forward to their ideas becoming reality.”
Following a review of pre-proposals, the NFF invited six finalists to submit complete business plans for the challenge. In addition to Yale and Colorado State University, finalist teams represented Northern Arizona University, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Yale University, and Drexel University. The selection committee included Mr. Barrett, academic leaders in the field of forest management, and representatives from the Forest Service, National Forest Foundation and other national conservation organizations.
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