Wood Innovations

Building with Wood

A picture showing the construction of a wood building in the framing stage of a large building.

Wood may be one of the world’s oldest building materials, but it is also now one of the most advanced, and the Forest Service is playing a critical role in providing assistance to state, Tribal, local, and private entities on how to incorporate wood as a green building material. By building stronger markets for innovative new wood products, we are supporting sustainable forest management, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and putting rural America at the forefront of an emerging industry.


Emerging engineered wood technologies can be used in commercial building projects, such as tall buildings and skyscrapers, as well as other projects. By some estimates, a three- to five-story building made from emerging wood technologies has the same emissions result as taking up to 550 cars of the road for one year. Wood-based designs have also been demonstrated to improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling. Presently, the market for wood and other related forest products supports more than one million direct jobs, many in rural America. As these markets expand, so will the economic opportunities.



National Forest Products Week

A picture of a large wood house.

October 20-26, 2019 is National Forest Products Week. To recognize the importance of products from our forests, the Congress, by Public Law 86-753 (36 U.S.C. 123), as amended, has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday in October of each year as "National Forest Products Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week each year.


During National Forest Products Week, we celebrate the value of America’s forests and the products they provide while we recommit to sustainably managing these splendid natural resources to meet our Nation’s needs, both now and in the future.  Expanding wood products markets reduces forest restoration costs and creates an alternative to burning or land filling the leftover woody material.  A diversified wood products industry enhances resiliency of our ecosystems, sequesters carbon, and creates jobs in rural communities.



Renewable Wood Energy

A picture of a person holding a handful of wood chips.

The Forest Service is committed to expanding renewable energy by promoting the use of ‘wood waste’ or ‘wood residues’ across residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Wood energy creates local jobs in rural and urban areas along each stage of the supply chain.Above all, wood energy supports sustainable forest management, which helps reduce damage caused by uncharacteristic wildfires, insects, disease, and invasive species.


Wood residues come from a variety of sources, such as remnants from forest treatments, urban landscapes, or wood products manufacturing. In addition, wood energy can substantially reduce the cost of removing hazardous forest fuels by making marketable use of wood residues that would otherwise be burned in piles, are costly to move offsite, or would be landfilled.



National Bioenergy Day

A picture of a large wood processing plant taken a night with the lights of the plant lighting up the complex.

October 23, 2019, will be the fifth annual National Bioenergy Day. Led by Biomass Power Association in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, National Bioenergy Day facilitates interaction between bioenergy projects and their local communities, raising awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of bioenergy with a focus on creating local jobs and supporting a highly skilled workforce.


On this day, organizations all over the country – businesses, non-profits, universities, and state and local governments – will showcase the many ways they benefit from bioenergy. You can learn more about National Bioenergy Day, and see current updates at www.bioenergyday.org.



Wood Innovations Grants

The Wood Innovations Grants funding supports traditional wood utilization projects, expands wood energy markets, and promotes using wood as a construction material in commercial buildings. The Forest Service supports proposals that significantly stimulate or expand wood products markets and wood energy markets that support the long-term management of National Forest System and other forest lands. The 2020 Request for Proposals focuses on the following priorities:

  • Reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest health on National Forest System and other forest lands;
  • Reduce costs of forest management on all land types; and
  • Promote economic and environmental health of communities. 

For detailed information on the application process, visit the Wood Innovations Homepage


A graphical illustration showing urban tree area and a small city with power lines nearby.