News Release

USDA Forest Service Awards More Than $1 Million To Enhance Hardwood Forest Products

April 27, 2006 -

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that the USDA Forest Service is awarding more than $1 million in 19 matching grants to spur innovation and research of hardwood forest products and to encourage the use of a wider variety of forest resources.

"An important component of improving the health of hardwood forests is research to promote a greater variety of sustainable forest resources," said Johanns. "These grants will help advance the adoption of new forest products from our eastern hardwood forests."

Selections were based on a number of factors, including consideration of whether a recipient could:

  • maintain the economic competitiveness of hardwood industries;
  • bring information and technology to existing and emerging businesses involved in the development and manufacturing of wood products;
  • bring marketing and business-related skills to existing and emerging wood products businesses;
  • encourage the adoption of new technology to improve competitiveness and profitability;
  • provide support and key information to entrepreneurs and start-up businesses;
  • address global issues and assist communities and industries facing threats from invasive species, such as the Emerald Ash Borer.

Below are the grant recipients. The maximum grant amount is $100,000. All recipients must match the federal portion by at least 100 percent. Together with the non-federal matches, about $3 million will be spent on this effort.

Auburn Enterprises, LLC (Greene, Maine), $28,470

Beeken Parsons, Inc. (Shelburne, Vt.), $30,000

George Phillips (Scott Depot, W.Va.), $16,010

Hardwood Market Report (Memphis, Tenn.), $65,000

Natural Resources Cooperative, LLC (Toms River, N.J.), $50,000

National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (Alexandria, Va.), $84,800

Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.), $49,084

Randolph County Development Authority (Elkins, W.Va.), $10,000

Southeast Michigan RC&D (Ann Arbor, Mich.), $99,000

University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.), $70,754

Virginia Tech, Department of Computer Science (Blacksburg, Va.), $50,000

Virginia Tech, Department of Wood Science & Forest Products, $50,177

Virginia Tech, Department of Wood Science & Forest Products, $65,354

Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation (Waterbury, Vt.), $38,500

West Virginia University, Division of Forestry (Morgantown, W.Va.), $69,900

West Virginia University, Division of Forestry, $33,917

West Virginia University, Division of Forestry, $93,291

West Virginia University, Division of Forestry, $37,775

West Virginia University, Division of Forestry, $65,261

The funds are provided by the Forest Service's Wood Education and Resource Center (Princeton, W.Va.), which is administered by the agency's State and Private Forestry Northeastern Area Office. The center's mission is to work with the forest products industry toward sustainable forest products production for the eastern hardwood forest region. It provides state-of-the-art training, technology transfer, networking opportunities, applied research and information.