Deadline nears for Forest Service grants

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The U.S. Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center is accepting applications for cost-share demonstration project grants through Feb. 1, 2011. The grants support sustainable forestry and forest industry in the Eastern hardwood region.

In previous years, about $1 million has typically been divided among projects that help primary and secondary hardwood industries sustain the production of forest products, according to a Forest Service release. The final funding available will be determined once the Forest Service has received its official budget for fiscal-year 2011.

The center's grants fund projects that strengthen the economic competitiveness of the forest industry. Businesses throughout the Eastern Hardwood Forest Region use the results of these projects to improve practices, expand market opportunities and discover new product uses for renewable forest resources.

"As with previous grants, these projects will help ensure the sustainability and health of our hardwood forests," says center director Steve Milauskas. "Additionally, projects created by these grants will make it more economical to harvest lower-value trees and allow us to take better care of our forests."

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, state and local government agencies, institutions of higher education, tribes and for-profit organizations. The average grant size is anticipated to be $56,000 and varies from $10,000 to $80,000. Federal funds must be matched at least one-to-one by the recipient.

Priority will be given to projects that accomplish one or more of the following:

? Maintain the economic competitiveness of primary and secondary hardwood industries.

? Increase knowledge and information about how the hardwood industry can contribute to the green building movement.

? Increase the knowledge, information and promotion of how carbon sequestration (storage) by wood products can provide a competitive edge to a sustainable hardwood industry.

? Develop technology and markets to address urgent issues on a global or domestic scale, such as sanitizing wood packaging materials and developing markets for unexpected increases in wood volume from pest outbreaks or weather events.

? Increase the sustainable use of woody biomass to meet the nation's needs for energy and raw materials.

The application form and instructions are available at Participants can also apply at

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