The USDA has announced a $43 million investment to drive innovation in the wood products and wood energy sectors, aligning with the Investing in America agenda.
- June 26, 2023
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The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) is investing over $43 million to promote innovative uses of wood in the United States. This investment aims to expand the use of wood as a construction material in commercial buildings, as an energy source, and in manufacturing wood products. The funds will be distributed through Community Wood Grants and Wood Innovations Grants, which are grant programs that encourage innovation in the wood industry and the renewable wood energy sector. These programs have provided more than $93 million to 381 recipients since 2015.
The investment is made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. The grants will support 123 projects nationwide and benefit various entities, including for-profit companies, state and local governments, tribes, schools, non-profit organizations, and more. The projects funded by these grants will focus on expanding and retrofitting wood energy systems and wood products manufacturing facilities, creating markets for innovative uses of mass timber and renewable wood energy, and contributing to forest restoration and reducing wildfire risk.
Some examples of the funded proposals include a $1.2 million grant to Hat Creek Bioenergy in California to commission a 3-megawatt wood energy facility that will provide renewable energy to the community. Another grant of over $300,000 was awarded to Tahoe Forest Products in Nevada, which operates a sawmill to reduce fuels on public and private land and supports the cleanup of areas affected by wildfires while creating employment opportunities, particularly for tribal members.
This investment aligns with President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which aims to stimulate the American economy, rebuild infrastructure, attract private sector manufacturing investments, create jobs, and transition to a clean energy economy. It also supports the Forest Service’s 10-year strategy to address the wildfire crisis by promoting a healthy forest products economy and sourcing wood from activities that reduce wildfire risks.