Wood & Panel

USDA grants for promoting wood usage

 Tuesday, June 13, 2023

USDA announces that the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to invest a sum more than $43 million to boost the innovative uses of wood promoting sustainability. They are aiming to encourage the use of wood as an energy source that can serve as an appropriate construction material for commercial use; increase the production of wood products used in framing of homes and can also help to make paper products and more.

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act made this initiative an effective one. These funds are to be invested in 123 projects nationwide through Community Wood Grants and Wood Innovations Grants. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted the use of wood as one of the most useful sustainable material and says, “With crucial funding through the Investing in America agenda, the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting the wood products and wood energy economies that are the lifeblood of so many people, especially for tribal and disadvantaged rural communities,”

The funded proposals under these USDA grant programs will encourage the use of wood energy and the production of wood products. This will develop a market for innovative uses of mass timber and renewable energy. These projects also help to restore healthy forests reducing wildfire risk and even try to develop measures to protect the communities while curbing the effects of climate change. The beneficiaries who will receive the grants include profit entities, state and local governments, tribes, school districts, community-based non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and special purpose districts.

One of the funded proposals under the Community Wood grant program includes $1.2 million to commission a 3-megawatt thermally led wood energy facility operated by Hat Creek Bioenergy in Burney, California. The other proposal is the grant that will provide more than $300,000 for Tahoe Forest Products, based in Carson City, Nevada. This particular announcement is the part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda that aims to boost America’s economy from the bottom up and the middle out. It is to be noted that the announced investment will directly support the Forest Service’s 10 year strategy to rectify the wildlife crisis, producing more job opportunities benefiting the economy.

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