ATLANTA - The U.S. Forest Service named Georgia tree farmer Chuck Leavell an honorary Forest Ranger. In a ceremony last week he received his forest ranger's hat in recognition of his efforts to publicize sustainable forestry stewardship.

Georgia Tree Farmer Backs Forest Service and Rolling StonesForest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, who bestowed the honor and the symbolic forest ranger hat.

“We are grateful to Chuck for using his platform as a world-famous musician to help spread the word about the importance of sustainable forest management,” Tidwell said in announcing the honor. “When Chuck talks, people listen.”

Leavell, who also happens to be a keyboardist for the Rolling Stones and Allman Brothers Band, won a Lifetime Achievement award at the Grammy Award's in Los Angeles last month for his work with the Allman Brothers.

Leavell and his wife Rose Lane carefully studied conservation techniques which they put into practice operating 2,500-acre Charlane Plantation in Bullard, GA. Described by the Forest Service as "a textbook tree farm," it has earned accolades from the Georgia Conservancy, the National Arbor Day Foundation and the American Tree Farm System.

Leavell is also the author of Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest, said to be widely regarded in forestry and conservation communities.

In 2006 Leavell donated a Conservation Easement on part of the Charlane Plantation to assure that the land will never be develope and will remain natural and pristine. Charlane also sponsors a scholarship at the Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia.

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