Administrator’s $74M investment - Wood products & forests

May 15, 2024

By Farms.com

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Xochitl Torres Small unveiled today a significant investment by the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, totaling $74 million. This investment, a key component of President’s Investing in America agenda, aims to drive innovation, open new markets for wood products and renewable wood energy, and strengthen the capacity of wood processing facilities.

Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, these investments will support 171 project proposals across 41 states and American Samoa. The primary goal is to bolster forest health while fostering economic growth, particularly in tribal and rural communities.

Deputy Secretary Torres Small stressed the administration’s commitment to advancing innovation in the wood products and wood energy sectors. These investments are expected to generate job opportunities for families and communities, while also expanding the nation’s capacity to manufacture wood products sustainably. This, in turn, will contribute to healthier forests and reduced wildfire risks.

A key focus of the initiative is on sustainably sourcing materials for wood products. Removing dead trees and overgrown vegetation not only improves forest health but also mitigates the threat of catastrophic wildfires and creates habitats for wildlife.

The Forest Service will distribute grants across public, private, and non-profit sectors. Projects funded through programs like the Wood Innovations Grant and Community Wood Grant will aim to increase demand for sustainably sourced wood and explore innovative uses for it. Examples include biomass boilers in schools, advanced equipment in sawmills, and mass timber housing.

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