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The U.S. Forest Service Awards $4m To Small Businesses, Community Groups and Tribes For Regional Biomass Projects



The U.S. Forest Service announced yesterday it will award nearly $4 million in grants supporting regional wood bioenergy projects throughout the country, helping to support local economies and create jobs. The $3.92 million in grants will go to 20 small businesses, community groups and tribes to aid development of wood biomass renewable energy projects as part of the Woody Biomass Utilization Program.
The feedstock for these projects will come from trees that have succumbed to beetle infestation, the removal of which will help forest managers with wildfire prevention and improve the overall health of forests. Green energy for heating and electricity is then produced from the wood material in bioenergy plants. The grant money is used by recipients to help pay the expense of permitting and cost analysis for projects and to establish access to engineering services required for final design of the bioenergy systems and facilities.
“The Forest Service works in more than 7,000 communities across the country to support projects that provide green jobs and boost local economies,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary Butch Blazer. “These grants continue our legacy of improving access to affordable energy for rural schools, community centers, universities and small businesses.”

Nation’s forests provide jobs, economic benefits

The grant program is one example of the economic benefits the nation’s public forests provide local communities, says Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
“Our nation’s forests are a precious natural resource providing multiple economic opportunities that are creating jobs and contributing billions of dollars in economic activity across the country,” said Vilsack. “Nearly 166 million visitors to Forest Service lands helped sustain over 200,000 jobs last year, while restoration and fuel thinning efforts contributed $21 million to local economies, producing 121 million board feet of lumber and 267,000 tons of woody biomass for bio-energy production. Today’s announcement of an additional $4 million for wood-to-energy projects and the opening of an innovative lab will ensure that our forests continue to provide new bio-based manufacturing opportunities that create good, sustainable jobs in rural communities.”

 Woody Biomass Utilization grant recipients

  • California Department of Forestry, Sacramento, Calif.
  • City of Montpelier, Montpelier, Vt.
  • City of Nulato, Nulato, Alaska
  • Clearwater Soil and Water Conservation District, Orofino, Idaho  
  • Coquille Economic Development Corporation, North Bend, Ore. 
  • County of Sullivan New Hampshire, Newport, N.H.
  • Evergreen Clean Energy, Gypsum, Colo.
  • F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company, Columbia Falls, Mont.
  • Greenway Renewable Power L.L.C., LaGrange, Ga.
  • Longwood University, Farmville, Va.
  • Mineral Community Hospital, Superior, Mont.  
  • Nippon Paper Industries USA Co. Ltd., Port Angeles, Wash.  
  • Oregon Military Department, Salem, Ore.
  • Plumas Rural Services, Quincy, Calif.
  • Port Angeles Hardwood L.L.C., Port Angeles, Wash.
  • Quinault Indian Nation, Taholah, Wash.
  • Riley County Schools, Riley, Kan.
  • Sanpete Valley Clean Energy L.L.C., Salem, Utah
  • Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Ore.
  • Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council, North Fork, Calif. 
Source: RevModo (

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