Forest Service offers $8 million through Wood Innovations Program

By Erin Voegele | October 23, 2019

The U.S. Forest Service announced Oct. 22 that it will invest up to $8 million in grants for projects designed to expand wood products and wood energy markets that support sustainable forest management, particularly in areas of high wildfire risk.

The grants are available through the agency’s Wood Innovations Program. Funding is available to support a diverse range of activities, such as supporting engineering designs or code review for commercial construction projects using wood as a primary building materials, completing costs analyses and permitting necessary in the later stages of wood energy project development to secure financing, and showcasing quantifiable environmental and economic benefits of using wood as a sustainable building material in a commercial building.

The 2020 request for proposals focuses on three main priorities. This includes reducing hazardous fuels and improving forest health on National Forest System and other forest lands, reducing costs of forest management on all land types, and promoting the economic and environmental health of communities.

The deadline to submit grant applications is Jan. 15, 2020. Applicants are scheduled to be notified of results in May 2020, with awards issued in August.

Since 2005, more than 360 grants have been awarded under the program. Forest Service Data shows 79 wood energy projects received a combined $15.14 million in federal funding from 2013 through 2018. Since 2013, the funding has also helped establish 12 statewide wood utilization teams and 22 statewide wood energy teams that collectively expand and support wood products and wood energy markets.

Additional information is available on the U.S. Forest Service website