PRINCETON, WV May 21, 2010— Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry Director Kathryn Maloney announced that the U.S. Forest Service is awarding more than $1,444,000 in grants to 24 competitively selected projects. The grants encourage innovation and the sharing of processing and marketing knowledge with wood products manufacturers in the Eastern United States. The primary goal of the grants is to keep local wood businesses globally competitive and sustainable.

"An important component of improving the health and stewardship of hardwood forests is to maintain a vibrant forest products industry that has the ability to sustainably utilize lower-value trees for products that will assist our citizens with their energy needs as well as provide locally produced wood products used in our daily lives," said Maloney. "These projects will help advance the use of woody biomass for energy, and support the adoption and expansion of forest products and their markets from our eastern hardwood forests. The agency is also committed to reducing the impacts of climate change through funding projects in green building/certification and carbon sequestration. These projects ultimately provide resources for hardwood industries to remain economically competitive in a global market." Selections were based on a number of factors, including consideration of whether the project or grant recipient could:

• Maintain the economic competitiveness of primary and secondary hardwood industries.
• Increase knowledge and information about how the hardwood industry can contribute to the green building movement.
• Increase the knowledge, information, and promotion of how carbon sequestration (storage) by wood products can provide a competitive edge to a sustainable hardwood industry.
• Develop technology and markets to address urgent issues on a global or domestic scale, such as sanitizing wood packaging materials and developing markets for unexpected increases in wood volume from pest outbreaks or weather events.
• Increase the sustainable use of woody biomass to meet our Nation’s needs for energy and raw materials.
The maximum grant amount is $80,000. Grant recipients are required to match Federal funds, dollar for dollar. The selected projects will provide matching funds in excess of this requirement, totaling $1.7 million. Collectively, these grants will be used to invest approximately $3.1 million into forest management and forest products businesses. The 24 grant recipients include:

  • Alliance for Green Heat (Takoma Park, Md), $63,224
  • Biomass Thermal Energy Council (Washington, D.C.), $58,933
  • Dovetail Partners, Inc. (Minneapolis, Minn), $21,600, $19,500
  • Hardwood Publishing Company, Inc. (Charlotte, N.C.), $80,000
  • Illinois Conservation Foundation (Springfield, Ill), $65,000
  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry (Brownstown, Ind), $70,000
  • North Carolina State University (Raleigh, N.C.), $79,699
  • Northeast Forests, LLC (Thendara, N.Y.), $50,000
  • Pennsylvania State University (University Park, Penn), $73,959
  • Rainforest Alliance (New York, N.Y.), $68,496
  • Regents of the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn), $43,996
  • Sustainable Forest Futures, Inc. (Concord, N.H.), $75,000
  • Sustainable Resources Institute, Inc. (Crystal Falls, Mich), $27,000
  • Timber Resources (Catawba, Wisc), $48,500
  • University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn), $30,250
  • Virginia Tech University (Blacksburg, Va.), $79,655, $79,256, $70,322, $61,681, $59,531, $53,468
  • West Virginia University Research Corporation (Morgantown, WVa), $70,042
  • Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (Nellysford, Va), $75,000

Twelve projects address maintaining the economic competitiveness of the hardwood industry with grant awards totaling $853,654. Five projects focus on woody biomass as a domestic energy source with grant awards totaling $267,716. Three projects focus on urban wood utilization with grant awards totaling $133,000. Two projects deal with green building/certification with $95,496 in grant funds. One project receiving $43,996 pertains to the transfer of invasive insects through firewood. One project receiving $30,250 pertains to carbon sequestration.

The selected projects competed with many other worthy proposals. All proposed projects combined were seeking $3.6 million in Federal funds. Funding is provided through the U.S. Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center, located in Princeton, WVa, and administered by the agency's Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry organization. The Center's mission is to work with the forest products industry toward sustainable forest products production for the eastern hardwood forest region. The Center provides state-of-the-art training, technology transfer, networking opportunities, applied research, and information. For more information, visit http://www.na.fs.fed.us/werc/.

Update to original May 3, 2010 release: Additional funding has allowed
the Forest Service to expand the number of awarded grants from 16 to 24
projects. The additional funded projects are in Indiana, Maryland,
Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

Source: Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

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