Updated: Oct 30, 2020
The Industrial Forest announces construction of five forests in 2021, Micro-Industrial Forest planned.
Millions of trees have been planted over the past 30 years and nearly half die within the first year. From non profit tree planting events to municipal tree planting programs, it’s a real life problem and a serious eco-issue.
Lack of watering, transplant shock, special interests and poor growing conditions are a few reasons why trees are having a difficult time surviving. These are some of the reasons The Industrial Forest created the phrase – It Takes An Industry To Build A Forest.
“The coexistence of the environment and industry are truly amazing on so many levels,” Jason Spiess said. “From creating new jobs to water recycling to air quality filtrations to autonomous safety, industrial innovations are critical for a sustainable future.”
Spiess is the founder and host of The Crude Life, a news content service covering the energy and mining industry, primarily the oil and gas sector. The Crude Life has entered into an agreement to help create content for The Industrial Forest.
The content will feature a variety of ESG stories, pictures, profiles, videos, social media graphics and interviews (ESG is an acronym for Environmental Social Governance).
“The Industrial Forest is building something that is truly unique and special. A forest that promotes environmental awareness for industry, creates jobs, consumes carbon, promotes the need for pipelines, demonstrates ethical capitalism and brings all walks of life together,” Spiess said. “It creates its own sustainable ecosystem that allows trees to live and industry jobs to grow at a time when people need work and the earth needs environmental innovation.”
In order to ensure the trees survive for decades, The Industrial Forest will implement a Sustainability Shed and a Critical Pipeline System.
“Trees need more than just an Instagram Pic or corporate-sponsored field trip,” Spiess said. “They need water everyday for one year and at least once a week for years after. Industry will once again demonstrate how they are the leader in the environmental movement.”
According to The Industrial Forest’s mission, the project does more than build sustainable forests, it also creates jobs and economic opportunity.
“Sustainability Sheds and Critical Pipeline Systems will need to be constructed and engineered to ensure the trees survive and produce an ecosystem that will consume carbon for decades,” Spiess said. “Local businesses like real estate professionals, mixed media artists, communication companies, wood fabricators and nurseries will be given opportunity for business during a time when many people’s doors are closing.”
The Industrial Forest will hold public meetings in each of the states leading up to the Planting Party and community BBQ. These public meetings are designed to provide engagement, communication, awareness, inclusion, transparency and flora direction from county extension officials.
Kendall DeHaan, who has been an environmental activist since protecting the beaver’s habitat in high school, has also agreed to join The Industrial Forest as a State Sustainability Supervisor.
“I met Jason at VegFest back when I was in high school advocating for the beaver and its habitat. I remember thinking how odd it was that an oil and gas guy was at VegFest,” DeHaan said. “So when Jason asked me if I would help industry build forests, I was very intrigued. Then when I saw the sustainability plan with The Industrial Forest, I was like all in. Did you know most companies don’t even have a sustainability plan? How is that even a thing?”
DeHaan currently works in corporate America and is active with several young professional networks, however, her passion for sustainability and connection to oil and gas is homegrown.
“My family is from Texas, so I have grown up hearing all about the oil and gas industry. Jason has told me on multiple occasions over the years that industry is the leader in the environmental movement. I always rolled my eyes when he said that,” DeHaan said. “But now, if industry is going to build sustainable forests, I am ready to listen and plant trees. Besides, Jason has assured me that oil and gas will listen to me too.”
Michaela Hager, K9 Pipe Inspections, has agreed to be on the Rocky Mountain Region exploratory committee. The Industrial Forest is currently in the process of identifying our Colorado State Sustainability Supervisor.
"When I heard about the idea of Industry building Forests, I knew I wanted to be a part of this project. I train dogs to detect leaks in pipelines for a living. I know industry and the environment can work together and offer each other value," Hager said. "I love the oil and gas industry because of their family values and desire for community fellowship. If The Industrial Forest will help educate on how much oil and gas supports environmental causes, how much industry gives back to their communities, that may be just as important as planting trees. Maybe more important."
Tiffany Wilson, Aries Buildings, is very involved in community events in the oil and gas industry. Based in the Permian Basin, Wilson has a pulse on what the industry trends are.
"The oil and gas industry are some of the smartest, kindest people I have ever worked with. Their commitment to community and environment makes The Industrial Forest a perfect demonstration of Environmental Action," Wilson said. "I can not speak for everyone in Texas or the Permian Basin, but everyone I have shown The Industrial Forest too, not only gets it, but they absolutely love it. Can’t wait to meet all of you at the Planting Party!"
The plan is to build a network of industrial forests across the United States by planting 1000 trees in 50 states over the next 5 years. The construction of The Industrial Forests will start in 2021 with 5 states. First year states are North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. In 2022, 15 states are scheduled.
The ESG-themed goal is for a minimum of 50,000 trees and 10 million pounds of carbon consumed by Mother Earth. The word “minimum” is used because several cities are already exploring the idea of a Micro-Industrial Forest within the city limits.
One city that has shown interest in the Micro-Industrial Forest is Bismarck, North Dakota, the state’s capital city. Spiess has met with Mayor Steve Bakken several times regarding an industrial education and environmental awareness walking park to compliment the 5-acre Industrial Forest.
“I am excited for The Industrial Forest and its potential to use shared knowledge in order to advance innovation and environmental stewardship,” Mayor Bakken said. “Currently, we are in an exploratory phase of site location and logistics, however, as the Mayor of Bismarck, I personally will do what it takes to make sure Bismarck, North Dakota plants the first tree in The Industrial Forest.”
The mayor appeared on a Live Recording Session of The Crude Life at the Bakken BBQ where Spiess mentioned afterwards that he was partnering with The Industrial Forest and thought Bismarck might make a good site for a micro forest concept. Mayor Bakken agreed.
“I’ve known Jason for nearly 15 years and can not think of too many others who are more qualified to bring people and Mother Earth together,” Bakken said. “I’ve seen his best and worst, and what I can tell you about Jason Spiess is that he has the mind of a capitalist and the heart of a hippie.”
For more information about The Industrial Forest email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Crude Life has compiled a transcript from the event, click here for the full transcript of The Industrial Forest Press Conference.