The U.S. Forest Service is seeking proposals that expand wood energy use and support responsible forest management.
Part of the federal agency’s Hazardous Fuels Wood-to-Energy Grant program, the Forest Service will provide about $2.8 million to help complete the engineering design work needed to apply or public or private loans for construction and long-term financing of wood energy facilities.
On top of that, the agency announced $1.7 million in funding availability under the Statewide Wood Energy Team cooperative agreement inviting public-private teams to seek funding to advance wood energy. Activities here can include workshops that provide technical, financial and environmental information, preliminary engineering assessments, and community outreach needed to support development of wood energy projects, according to a release.
Since 2005, more than 150 Wood-to-Energy grants have been awarded to small businesses, non-profits, tribes and state and local agencies. All of them are designed to improve forest health while creating jobs, green energy and healthy communities, according to the Forest Service.
The year, the Wood-to-Energy grant program encourages geographic- or sector-based clusters, such as hospitals, prisons or school campuses to participate.
For information, visit NA.FS.fed.us/werc. Applications also can be submitted through Grants.gov.
The Forest Service is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and manages 193 million acres of public land, as well as provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.
Public lands managed by the Forest Service contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone, according to a release. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion annually.