The Biden Administration is investing $29 million in projects to strengthen the wood products economy and promote sustainable forest management in the United States. The aim is to drive the use of forest restoration by-products, including small-diameter timber and woody biomass, which have historically been of little market value, and create new economic opportunities in tribal and economically disadvantaged communities.
The funding will establish, reopen, or improve businesses that purchase and process these by-products from projects on federally managed lands or tribal lands at risk of wildfire, insects, and disease. More than two-thirds of the funded businesses will use by-products from forest restoration and hazardous fuels reduction on landscapes identified in the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy.
These businesses are also vital employers in disadvantaged and tribal communities. Two-thirds of all funded proposals will be implemented in disadvantaged communities and will directly support tribal communities that are expanding manufacturing capacity.
Commenting on the investment, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “Healthy forests depend on a healthy forest products industry and as the nation faces an ongoing wildfire crisis, it is more important than ever to invest in sustainable forest management across all lands,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These investments will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, support existing jobs, and create new economic opportunities in tribal and economically disadvantaged communities.”