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 Partners, WoodWorks 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.
“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 share information and answer questions on how to apply for the grants during a webinar on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, at 2 p.m. EST. For more information on the grants and instructions on how to attend the webinar, visit the Forest Service’s Wood Innovations website.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.