News Release

USDA Forest Service awards Wood Innovations Grants to reduce wildfire risk, invest in rural economies and support healthy forests

April 16, 2020 -

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is investing in rural economies, reducing wildfire risk and improving forest conditions by awarding $7.62 million in grants as part of the agency’s Wood Innovations Grant program. 

The Wood Innovations Grant program advances innovations in wood products that create jobs, revitalize local economies and support sustainable forest land management. Thirty-five business, nonprofit, university and tribal partners in 19 states and Puerto Rico will match the grants with an additional $131 million.

“Markets for wood products are key to supporting sustainable management and restoration of our nation’s forested lands,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. “We can keep both public and private forests healthy and resilient by fostering economic opportunities around wood products.”

This year the Forest Service received 103 proposals, demonstrating the expanding interest in using wood in traditional and innovative ways as a building material and a renewable energy source.

Of the 35 projects selected, 27 focus on expanding markets for wood products and eight seek to increase markets for renewable wood energy. This year’s projects expand uses for small diameter wood, develop new markets for biochar and wood-powered energy, explore using cross-laminated timber in health care facilities, examine how to finance urgent restoration work, and more.

The projects will take place in 19 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and Washington) and Puerto Rico.

More information on the program is available online at the Forest Service Wood Innovations website.

2020 Wood Innovations Grant Recipients

Project Title


City, State

Hoonah Biomass Design Based on 2017 Feasibility Study

Hoonah Indian Association

Hoonah, AK

Southwest Ecological Restoration Institutes (SWERI) Wood Innovations and Utilization Team

Northern Arizona University Ecological Restoration Institute Forest Operations and Biomass Utilization

Flagstaff, AZ

Expanding the Forest Resilience Bond: Innovative Financing for a Forest Service Restoration Project

Blue Forest Conservation

Sacramento, CA

Riverpoint – Mass Timber Building Development

Crescent Real Estate LLC

Centennial, CO

Nail and Dowel Laminated Timber Diaphragms for Seismic Regions

Colorado  School of Mines

Golden, CO

Characterizing and Quantifying Environmental and Economic benefits of CLT buildings across the US

Colorado  School of Mines

Golden, CO

Increasing Processing Capacity and Overcoming Barriers for Utilization of Six Non-Native Plantation and Invasive Tree Species in Hawaii

Kamuela Hardwoods Inc.

Kamuela, HI

Timber City: An Awareness and Educational Program for the Tall Building Industry

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Chicago, IL

Catalyzing the Deployment of Mass Timber Buildings in the Northeast

Generate LLC

Boston, MA

Demonstration Project for Increasing Whole House Pellet Heating Clusters

Maine Energy Systems, LLC

Bethel, ME

Mass Timber Hotel: Tuning CLT to Overcome Barriers to Adoption in the Hospitality Industry

Regents of the University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

Development of Preservative-treated Southern Pine Cross-laminated Timber

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS

Forestry Educational and Utilization Center: Showcasing Mass Timber and Other Innovative Wood Building Materials

Mississippi Forestry Foundation

Jackson, MS

Red Lodge Mountain Waste to Warmth Energy Project

Red Lodge Mountain

Red Lodge, MT

Middle Niobrara Natural Resources District Headquarters Heating Project

Middle Niobrara Natural Resources District

Valentine, NE

New York State Wood Utilization Team

SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry

Syracuse, NY

Prineville Renewable Energy Project Engineering and Design Study

City of Prineville

Prineville, OR

Expanding Small Diameter Wood Processing Capacity in Hood River, Oregon

Neal Creek Forest Products

Hood River, OR

Overcoming Market Barriers to Increase Use of Structural Mass Timber in Healthcare Environments

University of Oregon

Eugene, OR

Developing an application for Mass Plywood Panels in Seismic and Energy Wall Retrofit

University of Oregon

Eugene, OR

Expanding Forest Biomass Pellet Manufacturing Capacity

Blue Mountain Lumber Products, LLC

Pendleton, OR

Replacing and Upgrading Head-Rig Scanner System

Blue Mountain Lumber Products, LLC

Pendleton, OR

Building Markets for Forest Restoration Wood

Sustainable Northwest

Portland, OR

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

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Installation of Wood Chip Dryer and Processing Equipment using Renewable Energy and Heat Provided by Wind River Biomass Utility

Smokehouse Products, LLC

Hood River, OR

Economic Benefits and Ecosystem Services in Private Lands near El Yunque National Forest

Center for Landscape Conservation

San Juan, PR

Load Testing and Assessment of a Field Demonstration CLT Bridge

South Dakota State University

Brookings, SD

BRB Braced Frames for Seismically Resilient Mass Timber Buildings

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

Market Assessments for the Expansion of Biochar Use and Sales

Next Generation Woods, Inc.

Hiwassee, VA

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

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA

Increasing Hardwood Utilization in the Cross-laminated Timber Market

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA

Long Falls Paperboard Biomass Combined Heat & Power Conversion Project – Flue Gas Condensation Alternate to Achieve Maximum Efficiency

Long Falls Paperboard, LLC

Brattleboro, VT

Enhancing the Vitality of the Western U.S. Roundwood Manufacturing Industry

Western Wood Preservers Institute

Vancouver, WA

Demonstration of Fire Performance of Durable Wood Strand Mass Timber Panels

Washington State University

Pullman, WA

R&D Modular LLC | Workforce Mass Timber Modular Housing

R&D Modular LLC

Seattle, WA