Submitted by the US Forest Service
The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests announce the award of two Wood Innovations Grants. Under a national USDA program that stimulates and expands wood products and wood energy markets, grant funding supports mass timber, renewable wood energy, and technological development for fuel reduction and sustainable forests.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, located in Blacksburg, was awarded $228,700 for a multistate effort to produce structural grade hardwood lumber. Working with partners and collaborators, researchers are assisting the hardwood industry in creating new markets and increasing the utilization of low value hardwood from public and private forestlands.
The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF), located in Charlottesville, was awarded $250,000 to expand new markets for biochar through collaboration and project demonstrations. Biochar is a stable carbon product produced from biomass sources like wood chips and plant residues. National Forest vegetation management projects aimed at improving forest health leave behind low-quality hardwood biomass which could be turned into biochar, making use of an under-utilized forest product.
“I’m pleased to see grants awarded to two partners of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests,” said Forest Supervisor Joby Timm. “These wood product research and development grants can stimulate economic development opportunities.”
More information on these projects and the program can be found on the Forest Service Wood Innovations Program webpage.
For more information about the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, visit our website https://www.fs.usda.gov/gwj and follow up on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GWJNF and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GWJNF.