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USDA Invests in Wood Products to Support Local Jobs and Healthy Forests in 41 States and American Samoa as part of Investing in America agenda

USDA Press Release

YAKIMA, Wash., -

Today, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Xochitl Torres Small announced that the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is investing nearly $74 million to spark innovation, create new markets for wood products and renewable wood energy from sustainably sourced wood, and increase the capacity of wood processing facilities as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.

Made possible in part by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest climate investment in history -- these investments fund 171 project proposals across 41 States and American Samoa, and directly support forest health and the wood products economy.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting innovation in the wood products and wood energy economies, which are at the heart of so many small towns, especially in Tribal and rural communities,” said Deputy Secretary Torres Small. “These investments will support good paying jobs for families and communities. It will increase the economy’s capacity to manufacture wood products. In turn, sustainably sourcing the wood used to manufacture these products will make our forests healthier and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.”

Sustainably sourcing materials for wood products directly supports efforts to improve forest health. Removing dead trees and overgrown vegetation reduces wildfire risk, improves forest health, and creates wildlife habitat, all while supporting the forest products economy.

The Forest Service is awarding grants to entities across the public, private, and non-profit sectors through its Wood Innovations Grant, Community Wood Grant, and Wood Products Infrastructure Assistance Grant Programs. Grant funding will support proposals that increase demand and create new and innovative uses for sustainably sourced wood. Funded proposals include converting heating systems in schools to sustainable biomass boilers, installing cutting-edge equipment in sawmills and processing facilities to increase efficiency, supporting innovative housing using mass timber, and more.

As part of these investments, the Forest Service is providing more than $7 million to 10 project proposals from Tribes that will directly support Tribally owned businesses and project proposals from Tribal governments. These investments are one way the agency is implementing its plan to strengthen Tribal consultation and nation-to-nation relationships.