DENVER, Colo. — National TV series for public television America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell returns to Colorado to celebrate a very merry U.S. Capitol Christmas. The new episode will premiere on Rocky Mountain PBS and rmpbs.org on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 8:00 P.M. MT and shines a light on the 50 year tradition in which the USDA Forest Service provides a tree for the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building during the holidays. The 2020 tree is provided by the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) on the Western Slope of Colorado.
Chuck Leavell may be best known as the keyboardist and musical director for The Rolling Stones, but he is also an educated and enthusiastic forestry advocate, conservationist and tree farmer. As host of the series, Leavell serves as the on-camera guide, travelling across the country to interview people who are passionate about the gifts we receive from our forests.
“The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is a mechanism for the nation come together during this magical time of year and to celebrate one of our most treasured resources”, said Leavell. “Whether for building or for recreation, our forests are good for the economy and for the spirit.”
During this special episode, Leavell travels to the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests to follow the journey – from selection and cutting to ornament making and community celebrations – of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it makes its way from Colorado to Washington, D.C. Leavell also learns about the multiple uses of this winter wonderland by sharing adventures and hearing from staff from the USDA Forest Service.
The series is produced by Choose Outdoors and 42 Degrees North Media and the special episode is made possible with generous support from the USDA Forest Service, STIHL Inc. and Red Wing Shoes.
“The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, or “People’s Tree”, is a time honored tradition that brings hope and joy to people across the country”, said Bruce Ward, president of Choose Outdoors. “We are proud to help tell this very special story during a year when the world needs it more than ever.”
Following the Dec. 17 premiere on Rocky Mountain PBS and rmpbs.org, the episode will be available for viewing online at americasforestswithchuckleavell.com. Follow along on Facebook (@americasforests), Instagram (@americasforestswithchuck) and Twitter (@americasforests)
*Photos and a :30 promo video available online here. Please credit Markus Van Meter for photography use.
About the Series
America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell captures the breadth of our nation’s woodlands – both public and private. It features stories that demonstrate how important forest habitats are to the well-being and economic health of communities across the country and presents individuals who embody this passion for the woods, from architects to artists, from climbers to carpenters. Episodes featuring Oregon, Colorado, South Carolina, California and Wisconsin are available on PBS stations nationwide and online at
About Chuck Leavell
Chuck Leavell is one of a kind. His musical career includes work with The Rolling Stones, but also with Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band, John Mayer and a host of others. AND he is acclaimed as a conservationist, environmentalist, author and tree farmer. After studying forestry by correspondence and doing much of his homework while riding a tour bus with the Fabulous Thunderbirds in the mid ‘80s, Chuck and wife Rose Lane Leavell turned her family’s plantation near Macon, GA, into what has become a textbook and award-winning tree farm. He is also the co-founder of The Mother Nature Network www.mnn.com, the world’s leading environmental website.
About the USDA Forest Service
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land; provides assistance to state and private landowners; and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. For more information, see www.fs.fed.us.
About Choose Outdoors Choose Outdoors works to increase all American’s enjoyment, appreciation and support for outdoor recreation activities that connect them to our public lands. These connections will ensure that our public lands will always be there for future generations to cherish. For more information, visit chooseoutdoors.org.