Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

USDA Forest Service Awards Wood Innovation Grants to Expand and Accelerate Wood Products Markets in 20 States

Washington, -

Today USDA 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 of cross-laminated timber (CLT) that directly resulted in the Department of Defense using CLT on its on-base hotels; and the funding of a feasibility analysis 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



Craig High School Wood Heating Conversion

Craig City School District


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


Biomass Heating Projects at Minimum Security Conservation Camps in California

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection


Feller-Buncher Equipment Lease to Facilitate Removal of High Wildfire Risk Fuels

H.L. Power Company, LP


Building California’s Biochar Market to Foster and Grow Bioenergy

Phoenix Energy


Rio Bravo Rocklin Biomass Power Plant, High Fire Hazard Fuel Handling Project

Rio Bravo Rocklin


Seismic Design Provisions and Commentary for Post-Tensioned Mass Timber Walls

Colorado School of Mines


Kick Starting the Timber Age in Southwestern Colorado

Timber Age Homes, Inc.


Northern Forests to Timber Cities:
Linking Urban Construction Demand to Northern Forest Mass Timber and Harvested Wood Products

Gray Organschi Architecture


Kingman Island Ranger Station

Hickok Cole Architects


Hawaii Wood Utilization Team: Developing Markets for Hazardous Fuel Wood

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources


An Engineering Demonstration for a Mass Timber Affordable Housing Prototype for Large-scale Urban Deployment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Construction Cost and Time Estimating Tool Development and Industry Outreach for Cross-laminated Timber Buildings

Michigan State University


Thermal Modification of Blue-Stained Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pine

University of Michigan


Northern Cheyenne Wood Energy Project Development and Forest Health Improvement

Northern Cheyenne Tribe


Utilization of Small Diameter Timber to Manufacture Engineered Wood Products for Use in Commercial and Residential Building Construction

Wooden Haus Supply LLC


Proving Cross Laminated Timber Panels for Residential Homes

North Carolina State University


Deploying Altree™ and Althin™ Technology at Camp Navajo Utilizing Biomass to Manufacture Life Saving Materials

PJ Woodlands, LLC


Overbuilds with Mass Timber - Building Preservation, Restoration and Growth

Acme Timber LLC


Affordable Housing Opportunities with Mass Timber

Spiritos Properties LLC


The Spar

Kaiser Group Inc.


U.S. Mass Timber Floor Vibration Design Guide and Validation

KPFF, Inc (Portland Structural)


Forging New Links Between Lands and People

Oregon Forest Resources Institute


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


Fire Performance of Custom CLT Layups Utilizing Pine from Logs Harvested in Western Forest Restoration Programs

Oregon State University


Wood-to-Biochar Business Opportunity Development

Pennsylvania State University


Biomass Gasification Cluster to Create Renewable Natural Gas for Transport Fuel in Missouri

Clean Development International


Expanding Market Opportunities to Improve Forest Health and Utilization

Virginia Department of Forestry


Expanding Markets for Thermally-modified Wood Products Produced from Low-value Hardwood Species

Virginia Tech


Design, Engineering and Cost Estimation for a Demonstration CLT Townhouse

Halevi Development Co.


Catalyzing Large Scale Restoration and Economic Development in the Eastern Cascades

The Nature Conservancy


Developing an Export Oriented U.S. Wood Pellet Industry in the Pacific Northwest with a Focus on the Asian Market

University of Washington


Accelerating the Adoption of Round Timber Trusses in Commercial Construction

Whole Trees, LLC


Producing CLT Panels from Low Value Appalachian Hardwoods: Part 2, Demonstrating CLT Panel Production, Properties, and Use

West Virginia University