WASHINGTON – The Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded more than $ 15 million to fund 60 projects. The grants will help develop and expand the use of wood products, strengthen emerging wood energy markets and protect community forests.
“To manage forest fires and fight the climate, we need to manage our forests,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Today’s investments underpin USDA’s commitment to tackle the climate crisis with a market-based approach that begins to steer us towards a clean energy economy, led by the production of renewable fuel and energy and bio-based products grown and manufactured here in the United States. and USDA’s budget request for 2022 ensures that the forest service can prioritize forest management and restoration.
“We are focusing on helping woodfuel installations in economically disadvantaged areas to retool or add advanced technology to replace inefficient or fossil fuel-powered systems,” said Vicki Christiansen, head of the forest service. “The grants will also expand markets for cross-laminated timber in commercial and multi-family housing, supporting the important link with healthy forests and manufacturing in rural communities.”
In addition to the Forest Service grants, there is $ 30 million in matching funds and partners, bringing the totals to over $ 45 million. The funding is divided into two programs: the Wood Innovations Grants and the Community Wood Grants.
Wood Innovations grant recipients include:
- $ 237,172 to Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., “Promotion of wood panels as structural elements in wood-steel composite flooring systems; “
- $ 101,000 to Karagozian & Case Inc. of Los Angeles “Demonstration of a Cost-Effective Cross-Laminated Timber Panel Capable of Withstanding Basic Defense Design Threats – Phase I”;
- $ 250,000 to Kirk M. Ringgold of Auberry, Calif., “Complete installation, employee training and commissioning of a small industrial sawmill”;
- $ 242,243 to Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources from Honolulu, HI, “Combining the New and the Old: First Use of Cross-Laminated Timber in Hawaii and Preserving Local Knowledge of Woodworking”;
- $ 184,691 to the Mississippi Forest Foundation, “Expanding the Wood Product Market in Mississippi; “
- $ 100,000 to University of Maine, Orono, Maine, “Optimization of Pilot Scale Fiberboard Manufacturing Line Using Underutilized Forest Resources and / or Recycled Wood Products”;
- $ 250,000 to Thompson Appalachian Forest Products of Huntland, Tenn., “Generating On-Site Wood Energy from Low-Value Sawmill Waste”; and
- $ 250,000 to Kretz Lumber Co. of Antigo, Wisconsin; “Kretz Lumber Installation of a new combined heat and power system.”
Recipients of community timber grants include:
- $ 80,000 to the town of Nenana, Alaska, “to establish a sawmill in a small community to fabricate housing structures with high insulating value; “
- $ 306,700 to Golden West Pine Mills Ltd., Ault, Colorado; “Upgrade the existing sawmill to add an innovative secondary manufacturing process for low value logs; ” and
- $ 369,508 to DCI Furniture Inc. of Lisbon, NH; “Rebuilding a 39-year-old wood-fired boiler that uses over 80,000 tonnes of low-value wood per year from 35 forest products companies.
See the full list of projects receiving the 2021 Wood Innovation Grants and Community Wood Grants.