The US Department of Agriculture has awarded $6.2 million in grants to more than two dozen small businesses and community groups to develop innovative uses for woody biomass, including renewable energy and new products, from national forests.
The grants will help create markets for small-diameter material and low-valued trees removed from forest restoration activities, such as reducing hazardous fuels, handling insect and diseased conditions, or treating forestlands impacted by catastrophic weather.
The Forest Service, a USDA agency, selected 26 small businesses and community groups as grant recipients. Awarded grants ranged from nearly $125,000 to $250,000. According to requirements, all 26 recipients provided at least 20 percent of the total project cost. Non-federal matching funds ranged from $62,500 to more than $2 million per project, for a total of almost $12 million.
A listing of all grant recipients can be found on USDA’s website.