Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is making nearly $50 million in grant funding available for proposals that support crucial links between resilient, healthy forests, strong rural economies and jobs in the forestry sector. Made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, this funding will spark innovation, create new markets for wood products and renewable wood energy, expand processing capacity, and help tackle the climate crisis.
The open funding opportunity comes through the Forest Service’s three key grant programs to support the forest products economy: Wood Innovations Grant, Community Wood Grant, and Wood Products Infrastructure Assistance Grant Programs. The agency is seeking proposals that support innovative uses of wood in the construction of low carbon buildings, as a renewable energy source, and in manufacturing and processing products. These programs also provide direct support to expand and retrofit wood energy systems and wood products manufacturing facilities nationwide.
The Forest Service is requesting proposals from eligible entities in the private, non-profit, and government sectors including Tribes, local and state governments, businesses and for-profit entities, institutions of higher education, as well as public utility, fire, conservation, and school districts, among others.
These investments will support forest management projects to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk across all land ownerships. Byproducts of these activities, like small diameter timber and woody biomass, have historically been of little market value. Thanks in part to these Forest Service grant programs, funding is available to support the use of this often-unused material in many types of wood products.
Businesses that are engaged in or support the forest products economy are eligible to apply for funding to expand manufacturing capacity. These businesses are vital employers in local communities, especially in tribal or rural communities.