WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service 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 wildfire and address climate, we need to manage our forests,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Today’s investments underpin USDA’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis with a market-based approach that begins to move us toward a clean energy economy, led by production of renewable fuel and energy and biobased products grown and manufactured here in the U.S. The American Jobs Plan and USDA’s budget request for 2022 make sure the Forest Service can prioritize forest management and restoration.”
“We are placing emphasis on assisting wood energy facilities in economically challenged areas to retool or add advanced technology to replace systems that are inefficient or fueled by fossil fuels,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. “The grants will also expand markets for cross-laminated timber in commercial and multi-family housing, which supports the important connection to healthy forests and manufacturing in rural communities.”
In addition to the Forest Service grants, there is $30 million in matching and partner funds bringing the totals above $45 million. The funding falls into two programs: Wood Innovations Grants and Community Wood Grants.
Wood Innovations Grant recipients include:
- $237,172 to the University of Auburn, Auburn, Ala., "Advancement of Timber Panels as Structural Elements in Timber-Steel Composite Floor Systems;"
- $101,000 to Karagozian & Case Inc. of Los Angeles "Demonstration of a Cost-Effective Cross-laminated Timber Panel Capable of Resisting Defense Design Basis 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 Land and Natural Resources of Honolulu, H.I., "Combining the New and the Old: First Use of Cross-laminated Timber in Hawaii and Preserving Local Woodworking Knowledge;"
- $184,691 to Mississippi Forest Foundation, "Expanding the Wood Product Market in Mississippi;"
- $100,000 to the University of Maine, Orono, Maine, "Optimization of a Pilot-scale Fiberboard Manufacturing Line Using Underutilized Forest Resources and/or Recycled Wood-Based Products;"
- $250,000 to Thompson Appalachian Forest Products of Huntland, Tenn., "Generate Wood Energy Onsite from Sawmill Low-Value Waste Products;" and
- $250,000 to Kretz Lumber Co. of Antigo, Wis.; "Kretz Lumber Installation of a New Combined Heat & Power System. "
Community Wood Grant recipients include:
- $80,000 to the City of Nenana, Alaska, “Establish sawmill in a small community to manufacture housing structures with high insulating value;”
- $306,700 to Golden West Pine Mills Ltd., Ault, Colo.; “Upgrade existing sawmill to add innovative secondary manufacturing process for low-value logs;” and
- $369,508 to DCI Furniture Inc. of Lisbon, N.H.; “Rebuild 39-year-old wood boiler that uses over 80,000 tons of low-value wood per year from 35 forest products businesses.”
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