News May 27, 2018

USDA Forest Service Awards Wood Innovation Grants

by Jackson Hole Radio News

Forest Service Interim Chief Vicki Christiansen announced the award of almost $8 million to expand and accelerate wood products and wood energy markets.  The Wood Innovation Grants will stimulate the removal of hazardous fuels from national forests and other forest lands to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, promote forest health, and reduce the cost of forest management.

The investment of federal funds will leverage over $13 million in matching funds from 33 business, university, nonprofit, and tribal partners in 20 states for a total investment of over $21 million.

“These Wood Innovation grants advance state-of-the-art solutions to reducing wildfire risk and making our forests healthier and more resilient,” said Forest Service Interim Chief Christiansen. “The public-private partnerships leveraged with these grants also foster increased economic development in rural communities.”

Previous grants supported successful blast testing(link is external) of cross-laminated timber (CLT) that directly resulted in the Department of Defense using CLT(link is external) on its on-base hotels; and the funding of a feasibility analysis(link is external) for a new CLT manufacturing facility to increase the amount of U.S.-made CLT.

This year the Forest Service received 119 proposals, demonstrating the expanding interest in using wood in both traditional and unconventional ways, such as an innovative building material and as a renewable energy source. Since 2005 more than 260 grants have been awarded to improve forest health, create jobs, invest in renewable energy, and support healthy communities.

Of the 34 projects funded in 2018, 28 focus upon expanding markets for wood products, and six seek to increase markets for wood energy. Some examples include utilizing small-diameter woody material in cross laminated timber (CLT) panels, addressing affordable housing in the northeast building market with mass timber, converting woody debris to renewable natural gas for transportation fuel, and using juniper biomass and biochar to filter heavy metals and manage storm water.

Since 2013 this funding has helped establish 22 Statewide Wood Energy Teams and eight Statewide Wood Utilization Teams that collectively expand and support wood energy and wood products markets. This year, two more Statewide Wood Utilization Teams will be established in Hawaii and Virginia. These multiagency teams include federal, state, business, nonprofit, and other partners.

Recipients of the 2018 Wood Innovation grants are from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. More information on the grant and cooperative agreement program is available online at the Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 30 percent of the nation’s surface drinking water to cities and rural communities and approximately 66 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated from the National Forest System. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 900 million forested acres within the U.S., of which over 130 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.


2018 Wood Innovations Grant Recipients


Project Title Organization State
Craig High School Wood Heating Conversion Craig City School District AK
Demonstration of Juniper Chip Wattles Blended with Biochar for Heavy Metal Filtration and Stormwater Management in Open Pit Mining and Quarrying Operations Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management AZ
Biomass Heating Projects at Minimum Security Conservation Camps in California California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection CA
Feller-Buncher Equipment Lease to Facilitate Removal of High Wildfire Risk Fuels H.L. Power Company, LP CA
Building California’s Biochar Market to Foster and Grow Bioenergy Phoenix Energy CA
Rio Bravo Rocklin Biomass Power Plant, High Fire Hazard Fuel Handling Project Rio Bravo Rocklin CA
Seismic Design Provisions and Commentary for Post-Tensioned Mass Timber Walls Colorado School of Mines CO
Kick Starting the Timber Age in Southwestern Colorado Timber Age Homes, Inc. CO
Northern Forests to Timber Cities:
Linking Urban Construction Demand to Northern Forest Mass Timber and Harvested Wood Products
Gray Organschi Architecture CT
Kingman Island Ranger Station Hickok Cole Architects DC
Hawaii Wood Utilization Team: Developing Markets for Hazardous Fuel Wood Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources HI
An Engineering Demonstration for a Mass Timber Affordable Housing Prototype for Large-scale Urban Deployment Massachusetts Institute of Technology MA
Construction Cost and Time Estimating Tool Development and Industry Outreach for Cross-laminated Timber Buildings Michigan State University MI
Thermal Modification of Blue-Stained Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pine University of Michigan MI
Northern Cheyenne Wood Energy Project Development and Forest Health Improvement Northern Cheyenne Tribe MT
Utilization of Small Diameter Timber to Manufacture Engineered Wood Products for Use in Commercial and Residential Building Construction Wooden Haus Supply LLC MT
Proving Cross Laminated Timber Panels for Residential Homes North Carolina State University NC
Deploying Altree™ and Althin™ Technology at Camp Navajo Utilizing Biomass to Manufacture Life Saving Materials PJ Woodlands, LLC NM
Overbuilds with Mass Timber – Building Preservation, Restoration and Growth Acme Timber LLC NY
Affordable Housing Opportunities with Mass Timber Spiritos Properties LLC NY
The Spar Kaiser Group Inc. OR
U.S. Mass Timber Floor Vibration Design Guide and Validation KPFF, Inc (Portland Structural) OR
Forging New Links Between Lands and People Oregon Forest Resources Institute OR
Demonstrating Use and Performance of a CLT Modular Building Utilizing Low‐value Pine Lumber from Logs Harvested in Pacific NW Forest Restoration Programs Oregon State University OR
Fire Performance of Custom CLT Layups Utilizing Pine from Logs Harvested in Western Forest Restoration Programs Oregon State University OR
Wood-to-Biochar Business Opportunity Development Pennsylvania State University PA
Biomass Gasification Cluster to Create Renewable Natural Gas for Transport Fuel in Missouri Clean Development International UT
Expanding Market Opportunities to Improve Forest Health and Utilization Virginia Department of Forestry VA
Expanding Markets for Thermally-modified Wood Products Produced from Low-value Hardwood Species Virginia Tech VA
Design, Engineering and Cost Estimation for a Demonstration CLT Townhouse Halevi Development Co. WA
Catalyzing Large Scale Restoration and Economic Development in the Eastern Cascades The Nature Conservancy WA
Developing an Export Oriented U.S. Wood Pellet Industry in the Pacific Northwest with a Focus on the Asian Market University of Washington WA
Accelerating the Adoption of Round Timber Trusses in Commercial Construction Whole Trees, LLC WI
Producing CLT Panels from Low Value Appalachian Hardwoods: Part 2, Demonstrating CLT Panel Production, Properties, and Use West Virginia University WV
Leave a comment