We want to say a huge thank you to the Asheville Citizen-Times and reporter Mike Cronin for the wonderful article on the Root Cause initiative and the effort to create a searchable database for local wood-based businesses, organizations and craftspeople in Western North Carolina.
Below is an excerpt of Cronin’s piece. To read the full article on the Citizen-Times website, click here, you can also view the piece as it appeared in print by clicking the image below.
Like the wood he weaves through some of his pieces, Lang Hornthal hopes an interwoven network of colleagues will strengthen the Western North Carolina wood products industry.
While many natives name the mountains as the primary source of the region’s cultural identity, others say the forest, too, has always shaped the sense of place held by those from here.
“A vibrant forest also means vibrant communities in Western North Carolina,” said Rob Lamb, executive director of Forest Stewards in Cullowhee. “It’s the foundation on which everything else is built. It’s not only about jobs, but aesthetics. The forest provides the underpinnings of our lives.”
Forest Stewards helps landowners learn resource-management practices to realize the benefits of the forest — economic and otherwise.
Hornthal shares that vision. With the assistance of area economic development officials, he plans to make an online directory of WNC wood products and forest-related professionals more user friendly.
The payoff, Hornthal hopes, is public awareness and support of the local wood economy.