The U.S. Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) of Princeton, W.Va., is accepting applications for cost-share demonstration project grants. The WERC grants support sustainable forestry and forest industry in the eastern hardwood region.
Approximately $1 million will be divided among projects that help primary and secondary hardwood industries sustain the production of forest products. The final funding available will be determined once the Forest Service has received its official budget for fiscal year 2009.
“As with previous grants, these projects will help ensure the sustainability and health of our hardwood forests,” says WERC 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, higher education institutions, tribes and for-profit organizations. The average grant size is anticipated to be $50,000 and may vary from $10,000 to $100,000. 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 needs for energy and raw materials.