USDA now accepting grant applications for wood products, energy

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2021 – Deputy Agriculture Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh announced today approximately $13 million in new funding opportunities to support market innovation in wood products and wood energy.

The announcement came during a “Leaders for the Built Environment” virtual event and kicks off National Forest Products Week as proclaimed by President Biden. Organized by the Forest Service, Dovetail PartnersWoodWorks and the Softwood Lumber Board, the event aimed to challenge senior leaders from companies in attendance – like Walmart and Microsoft – to explore how mass timber construction can support their climate and sustainability goals.

The USDA Forest Service is now accepting applications for these funds through the 2022 Wood Innovations Grant Program and the 2022 Community Wood Grant Program. These grants are designed to develop and expand the use of wood products and strengthen emerging wood energy markets that support sustainable forest management – particularly in areas of high wildfire risk.

Deputy Secretary Bronaugh

“The Wood Innovations Grant program has a long track record of success and strengthens and accelerates emerging markets for innovative wood products like mass timber and cross-laminated timber,” said Deputy Secretary Bronaugh. “Healthy and productive markets for wood products and wood energy are integral to supporting sustainable forest management and improving the condition of our national forests.”

The Community Wood Grant Program helps fund the costs of installing wood energy systems or building innovative wood product facilities. Grants awarded under the Wood Innovations Program address the nationwide challenge of reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires, disease, and pest infestations by retaining or by expanding existing markets for excess biomass and low-value logs removed during forest management activities.

The material removed supports both new and traditional markets, as well as local economic development. The removed material also reduces carbon emissions that would otherwise result from the open-air burning of excess or low-value biomass.The application period for both grant programs closes on Wednesday, January 19, 2022.

Since 2015, the Community Wood and Wood Innovation grant programs have provided more than $62 million to 288 recipients to support wood products and wood energy projects.

The Forest Service will hold an informational Pre-Application Webinar on this and another related grant opportunity on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to provide information and answer questions. 

The link is usfs.adobeconnect.com/wood-innovations/. For audio, dial in by phone: 888-844-9904; use access code 9780832. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 800-877-8339, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays. https://www.federalrelay.us/tty/

HOW TO APPLY?

Wood Innovations Grants Program

 

Community Wood Grant Program

The Community Wood Grant Program, launched in 2020, provides funding for grants to install thermally led community wood energy systems or to build innovative wood product manufacturing facilities. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (7 USC § 8113) and annual agency appropriations authorize and fund the grants awarded under this program. The Forest Service expects renewable wood energy systems installed under this program to use the most stringent control technologies. The program places extra emphasis on assisting sawmills in economically challenged areas to retool or add advanced technology.

 

To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.