Chuck Leavell is an American musician, who was a member of the Allman Brothers Band during the height of their 1970s popularity, a founding member of the jazz-rock combo Sea Level, a frequently employed session musician, and long-time touring member of the Rolling Stones. Leavell has also toured and recorded with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Gov’t Mule and John Mayer.
Leavell is a tree farmer in Twiggs County outside Macon, Georgia, an occupation that began when his wife, Rose Lane Leavell, inherited land in the early 1980s. Together they created Charlane Plantation, now a 2500 acre award winning Tree Farm and hunting preserve. The Leavells are two-time Georgia Tree Farmers of the Year, and were selected as National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year in 1999. They are staunch supporters of sustainable forestry, conservation and environmental protection. Chuck wrote his first book, Forever Green: The History and Hope of The American Forest in 2000. His autobiography, Between Rock and a Home Place was published in 2005, and is acclaimed as one of the best rock autobiographies ever published. In 2006, Leavell wrote a children’s book,The Tree Farmer. His most recent book is Growing A Better America: Smart, Strong, Sustainable. The theme of which is “smart” growth. It has been called one of the best “common sense environmental books of all time”.
Leavell was appointed by former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to the Georgia Land Conservation Council in 2008. He has also served on the Boards of The American Forest Foundation, The United States Endowment for Forestry and Communities and other influential non-profits and makes frequent trips to Washington, D.C. to discuss forestry and environmental policy matters with lawmakers on both sides of the Isle. In February 2012, the same month he received the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, he was given an Honorary Forest Ranger award from the United States Forest Service. He has stated that he reveres both of these honors equally.
Leavell and Joel Babbit are the co-founders of The Mother Nature Network, an environmental news and information website that launched in January 2009. The site has grown to be the most visited independent environmental website in the world. Leavell serves as Director of Environmental Affairs, and sits on the board of directors for the company. He hosts two video series on mnn.com: “Love of the Land,” in which he discusses sustainability and conservation issues, and “In The Green Room,” a series in which he interviews fellow celebrities about the environment and their philanthropic work.