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Climate & Energy
Pinchot Institute Opens Western Regional Office
Media contact: Alex Andrus
202-797-6582, aandrus@pinchot.org

June 4, 2014, Portland, OR – The Pinchot Institute for Conservation announced the opening of its new Western Regional Office today, naming Brian Kittler as its founding director.  Kittler was formerly with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.   “The Western Regional Office will allow the Pinchot Institute to work more closely with our federal, state and regional partners throughout the West to improve the conservation and sustainable management of forests on both public and private lands,” said Institute President Al Sample. “Population growth, energy development, and climate change are making conservation more difficult than ever before, and it is all the more important to engage communities and other stakeholders in developing enduring solutions to these challenges.”

Clear Lake, Willamette NF“New kinds of working relationships will be needed to confront the unprecedented conditions on public lands in the West, especially the federal lands,” said Brian Kittler.  “Communities all over the West have a common interest in finding ways to get ahead of wildfires and insect epidemics.  New developments in science and policy won’t mean much if we don’t find practical and broadly supported ways to implement these ideas on the ground.”

The Western Regional Office will also advance projects focusing on private lands, such as the Institute’s innovative Forest Health-Human Initiative which seeks to provide family forest owners with additional health care assistance in exchange for their commitments to conserve and sustainably manage their woodlands. “New and exciting innovations are emerging at the local level; our objective is to show they can work, and then apply them on other locations across the country,” said Kittler.

“The Pinchot Institute has contributed to improving knowledge of important conservation issues, including bioenergy, ecosystem services, climate change, forestry education, and community forestry, said Kent Connaughton, the Pacific Northwest Regional Forester for the US Forest Service.  “All are relevant across the United States, but the perspective provided by the Institute has been particularly important in the Pacific Northwest, where a number of these issues are in their infancy, and promise to become dominant in influencing public policy in the future.”  Connaughton added, “I particularly appreciate the Institute’s work on stewardship contracting, which has become an influential tool in achieving environmental, community, and economic goals on the national forests in the region; I believe the new office in Portland will only strengthen the Pinchot Institute’s influence and impact on the conservation policy.”

Dedicated in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, the Institute maintains offices in Washington, DC and at Grey Towers National Historic Site in Pennsylvania. For more than 50 years the Institute has worked to strengthen forest conservation thought, policy, and action by developing innovative, practical, and broadly-supported solutions to conservation challenges and opportunities. Through nonpartisan research, education, and technical assistance on key issues influencing the future of conservation and sustainable natural resource management, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation continues Gifford Pinchot’s legacy of practical conservation for the greatest good, for the greatest number, in the long run.

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