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$74M Boost - Wood products & forests get administrator backing

$74M Boost - Wood products & forests get administrator backing

By Jamie Martin

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Xochitl Torres Small unveiled a significant investment in wood products, totaling $74 million, aimed at bolstering local economies and preserving forest health. This initiative, part of President's larger Investing in America agenda, is made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, marking the largest climate investment in history.

The investment spans 171 project proposals across 41 states and American Samoa, targeting innovation, market expansion, and renewable wood energy from sustainably sourced materials. Deputy Secretary Torres Small emphasized the administration's commitment to fostering innovation in wood products and energy economies, particularly in small towns, tribal, and rural communities. These investments are projected to create employment opportunities, enhance manufacturing capacity, and mitigate the threat of catastrophic wildfires by promoting sustainable forestry practices.

The grants, distributed through the Wood Innovations Grant, Community Wood Grant, and Wood Products Infrastructure Assistance Grant Programs, aim to stimulate demand and explore innovative uses for sustainably sourced wood. Projects include the conversion of heating systems in schools to biomass boilers, upgrading equipment in sawmills for efficiency, and supporting mass timber housing initiatives.

The Forest Service is allocating over $7 million to 10 project proposals from tribal entities, directly benefiting tribally owned businesses and governments. These investments align with the agency's strategy to strengthen tribal consultation and nation-to-nation relationships, fostering economic development and sustainability within tribal communities.

Photo Credit: pexels-elkhan-ganiyev

Categories: National

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