Vilsack’s Forest Service memorandum addresses wood-based SAF

By Erin Voegele | June 23, 2022

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on June 23 issued a memorandum to the U.S. Forest Service directing the agency to take bold actions to restore forests, improve resilience, and address the climate crisis. The memorandum, in part, addresses the potential of wood-based sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

One section of the memorandum directs the Forest Service to develop policy recommendations to incentivize the utilization of restoration byproducts and wood product innovation. Those recommendations are to specifically support investment strategies that incentivize new utilization technologies and use of forest restoration byproducts; develop wood product innovations, including aviation biofuels; and identify related opportunities for jobs and economic benefits.

Another section of the memorandum directs the agency to coordinate with stakeholders to create recommendations for community-led local and regional economic development opportunities to create and sustain jobs in outdoor recreation and the sustainable forest product sector, including innovative materials.

The nine-page memorandum also directs the Forest Service to take a wide range of actions, divided into four specific categories. The first directs the agency to spatially identify risks to the ecosystem values to inform decision making. The second category of actions focuses on the development of policy recommendations for climate resilience and carbon stewardship on national forest systems lands, while the third focuses on further policy recommendation development guidance, and the fourth addresses immediate actions the Forest Service is to carry out in an effort to accelerate climate resilience and carbon stewardship.

Additional information, including a full copy of the memorandum, is available on the USDA website